Russia’s aggressive moves – which no one can predict where or how they will stop – are a domino effect of geopolitical developments that bring problems … much closer to our neighborhood ● The unpredictable role of Tayyip Erdogan, who is trying, requires special vigilance. , as usual, to step on two boats
The possibility of the Russo-Ukrainian war turning into a fuse of a new round of instability in the Western Balkans or an escalation of the confrontation on the fronts that are open in the Middle East and Libya is causing concern in Athens. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with an unknown outcome and unpredictable consequences for the West’s relations with Moscow, points to a new balance in the wider region.
Greek concerns were reflected in the public statements made by Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister N. Dendias, but mainly in informal talks with Americans and Europeans in the context of consultations on Ukraine. The focus, of course, is on Ukraine and Moscow’s subsequent actions. EU Foreign Ministers discussed the latter in an extraordinary meeting yesterday in Ukraine and agreed on the plan of new sanctions against Russia. At the same time, however, it is becoming clear from EU moves. and NATO at the second level that there is concern about an outbreak of other crises.
The US and NATO militarily strengthen the allied countries bordering Russia, while for its part the EU. strengthen its military presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the UN mission. The country has been in political instability for months, with Bosnian Serb leader M. Dodik raising the issue of secession, openly looking to Moscow for support in advancing the plan. For its part, Belgrade, as seen from the stance of the President of Serbia, Al. In the case of Ukraine, Bucic wants to maintain the good relations he has with Moscow, without closing the EU perspective, which would put him in a difficult position at home.
And in Libya, the EU would like to point out the political proposals, however, this period is considered risky to ask for concrete steps from the political forces and the opposing troops. Where things are and the best initiative can negatively affect the delicate balances, as Russia has a strong influence and military presence in the country.
At the same time, Athens is forced to closely monitor every move by Ankara, both on the Ukrainian issue and on the NATO consultations. Erdogan’s statements against Putin on the introduction were recorded with particular interest, but on the other hand, Turkey insists on a negative stance on the issue of sanctions. Athens does not expect a dramatic change in Turkey’s behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, but for some time it is possible that offensive statements will be mitigated.
The Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs of Turkey, H. Akar and M. Tsavousoglou, had telephone conversations yesterday and the day before yesterday with their American counterparts L. Austin and A. Blinken. Balancing exercises for President Erdogan between Washington and Moscow are more difficult now, as Turkey also has privileged relations with Kiev. Z. Borel also had a conversation with M. Tsavousoglou yesterday, who stated that they agreed to continue “coordinating to end the unacceptable aggression as soon as possible”.
To the official request of the Zelensky government to close the Straits for the Russian war fleet, M. Tsavousoglou yesterday also avoided responding directly, saying that the issue is being examined by the legal services, on the basis of the Monre Treaty. There is something special in the agreement, the Turkish Foreign Minister said: “If the ships of the countries that are parties to the war are asked to return to their bases, this must be allowed. Even if we forbid it, the Russians have such a right. Russia had managed to add to this prediction in its favor. These are regulated by Articles 19, 20 and 21 “.
Of particular interest is the discussion that begins in the EU. around the issue of European defense and security, which from time to time opens without the necessary convergence to move forward. The crisis of insecurity on the part of Ukraine significantly increases the pressure on Berlin to accept Macron’s ideas.