Opinion – Is the Cyprus Issue Insoluble? – NYTimes.com – John Gelmini

Map of the districts of Cyprus, with English a...

Map of the districts of Cyprus, with English annotations, and showing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, United Kingdom Sovereign Base Areas, and United Nations buffer zone. The TRNC section illustrates the current de facto district boundaries following this map as a guide. The northern districts are labelled in Turkish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I share Dr Alf’s concerns about Cyprus, particularly given that Enosis (Union with Greece) and the desire of Turkey to reconstitute the Ottoman Empire have been with us since at least 1918.

Then we had the Cypriot Emergency, which was precipitated by Archbishop Makarios whose tomb lies in the Troodos mountains. That resulted in huge numbers of Greek Cypriots coming to London where successive generations of them now live in places like Barnet.

In 1974 trouble flared up again and the Turks invaded Northern Cyprus, while the UK, which has a large military bases in Cyprus, did nothing to stop them. The Turks kept half of Cyprus for themselves, ethnically cleansed the areas, which they captured north of Famagusta and splitting Nicosia in two. They then annexed it and declared all of Northern Cyprus to be part of Turkey which the UK does not recognize but is a “fact on the ground” to this day.

Cyprus to the south of this so-called “Green line” is now home to wealthy Chinese expatriates, Russian oligarchs, retired doctors, professional people and genuine former interim managers, like Dr Alf, who extricated themselves from the UK whilst the going was good.

Gas and oil will undoubtedly have the potential to enrich Israel, Cyprus and Greece, as well as places like Bulgaria, provided people are not too greedy and agree on a sensible way to divide the spoils.

One would hope that US pressure and the presence of Russian oligarchs would encourage Turkey not to do anything stupid for fear of upsetting Putin’s resurgent Russia and what will soon probably become Hillary Clinton’s America.

As it is, the EU will probably do nothing and the UK is incapable of doing anything if matters were to go “pear-shaped”. It is perhaps opportune that in recent months Cyprus and Israel have been conducting joint military maneuvers, with Israeli fighter jets seen off the coast in the Paphos Region.

John Gelmini

Russia ready to abandon South Stream pipeline, says Putin – FT.com

European flag outside the Commission

European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is currently the most read article in the FT. It’s a recommended read. Check it out!

via Russia ready to abandon South Stream pipeline, says Putin – FT.com.

As I read this article, I concluded that once again President Putin seemed to be steps ahead of the European political leadership. The essence of the story is that the European Commission bureaucrats intervened on South Stream, raising regulatory issues. This was followed with sanctions on Russia because of the Ukrainian intervention. But it looks like Russia is quickly able to cement new geopolitical relationships. Ultimately, Europe is suffering from sanctions on Russia. Personally, I fear that Europe will continue to be ponderous compared to Russia’s swift decisions and maneuvers.