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What steps will Ciprass help restore relations with Russia?

What steps will Ciprass help restore relations with Russia?

August 24 2018
Tags: Greece, Tsipras, Politics, Analytics, International Relations, Russia

After the sudden "whipping of the dishes" in our relations, the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras, the sources say, suddenly got into Moscow. If there are rumors that the pro-American Foreign Minister Kotzias was personally responsible for the recent quarrel, then Cipras has a chance to restore friendship with the Orthodox brotherly Russia. But what steps should he take - after of course, how will dismiss the brawler Kotzias?

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hopes to visit Russia by the end of this year. This source was informed by RIA Novosti news agency in the government circles of Athens. At once there were assumptions: Ципрс wishes to put an end in our quarrel, arisen this summer literally on an empty place.

In Athens, they expect that in the near future a telephone conversation between the Prime Minister and Vladimir Putin will take place. Moreover, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is also expected to visit there.

"Ципрс considers: that has occurred, has already occurred, it is necessary to leave it in the past. Now we need to restore relations with Russia, leave behind what happened and go ahead, "- quotes RIA Novosti source.

Visit Tsipras announced in the last year, when relations between Moscow and Athens, it seemed, were still on the rise. There was an increase in mutual trade, at the initiative of Greece, they were increased by almost 10% of Russian gas supplies to this country. Moreover, Tsipras expressed his support for the construction of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline through Greek territory and further to Italy.

And in July, Greece unexpectedly announced the expulsion of our two diplomats and the ban on the entry of two more. Representative of the Cabinet Dimitris Dzanakopulos did not give any intelligible explanations to this obviously unfriendly step towards Russia, limiting himself only to general phrases that the expelled diplomats "did not respect international law and the Greek state."

More specific was in the words of some anonymous sources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, which led the local newspaper Kathimerini. But there was a lot of incomprehensible: the expelled diplomats were charged with "attempts to fetch and disseminate information, as well as bribe government officials." At the same time, the names of these officials were never named, and "to snoop and disseminate information" is, in general, the direct professional duty of diplomats.

As the newspaper VZGLYAD noted, two more versions of the expulsion of diplomats were unofficially expressed.

First, the Greek press drew attention: the incident occurred immediately after Greece agreed with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on its name. The Greeks have long been accustomed to calling Macedonia an area in the north of their country. Fearing territorial claims, Greece demanded from its neighbor to change the name, promising otherwise not to let her into the EU and NATO. And now, Cipras gave the go-ahead for the former Yugoslav republic to be called the "Republic of Northern Macedonia". This means that NATO in the Balkans can expand, which, in turn, does not suit Moscow very much, but it quite suits the United States. The Russians allegedly participated in organizing rallies, the local press asserts.

There is a second version: the Greeks are not satisfied with the penetration of the Russian Imperial Palestinian Society into the country - in this they see an attempt to "split" the Greek church, which is not separated from the state. It was alleged that the scandal may be related to Kiev's attempts to obtain from the Greek hierarchs a sanction for autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, which they tried to resist from Moscow.

Be that as it may, in the visit of Ciprass they saw the intention to "roll back the situation." But the question arises - what specific steps must Greece make to hide the scandal?

One cancellation of the expulsion of Russian diplomats is not enough, said the chief correspondent of the Greek television channel "Mega" Afanasios Avgerinos. Cipressu should resign to the Foreign Minister Nikos Cotzias for his commitment to the pro-American course, he stressed in a conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD. And the foreign policy itself needs revision. Avgerinos emphasizes:

"The Greeks did not give Cipress an order to worsen relations with Russia. On the contrary, he was instructed to improve these relations. "

So the prime minister decided to take a step towards Moscow, because he was frightened of the Greek voters, says Avgerinos. "I think Cipras realized that he is losing in the eyes of society because of this crisis," the Greek journalist believes. "After all, these actions against Russian diplomats simply look like the obvious fulfillment of the instructions of the American embassy."

And for the Prime Minister, according to Avgerinos, such a testimony can not be inappropriately. Next year, the country will have parliamentary elections, and the ruling coalition SYRIZA and so the rating leaves much to be desired. SYRIZA came to power under the slogan of stopping the unpopular austerity policy and cutting government spending, but Cipress continued it. As Avgerinos says:

"In the eyes of the Greek voter, a photo in the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin is a big plus for any politician."

The head of the Center for Political Economy Studies, Vasily Koltashov, who has lived in Greece for several years, is of a different opinion. Tsipras goes to the world under the pressure of the European Union as a whole, the expert believes. "Cipras is a politician who is now maneuvering between Berlin and Washington," Koltashov remarked in a conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD. "But the fact that he is now trying to improve the situation is, perhaps, under the pressure of Berlin and Brussels. Cipress maneuvers. Pyotr Poroshenko maneuvers, by the way, also maneuvers.

This is generally normal now in Europe - do not orient yourself, say, on the European bureaucracy, but use contradictions between different centers of power. "

For this reason, Koltashov does not believe in a long-term improvement in relations with Greece. "Just the opposite. It can easily happen that after some friendly statements new accusations against Russian diplomats will follow. It's very easy, "- the interlocutor believes.

Theoretically, Ciprass can give several tips for rapprochement with Russia. For example, Greece as a member of the European Union could finally conclude an alliance with Italy and Hungary and together block the extension of EU sanctions, could it also more actively contribute to the extension of the Turkish Stream pipeline, Koltashov lists.

"However, Tsipras will not do all this," the expert believes. In his opinion, the Greek leader "can only get closer to Russia at a symbolic level." However, the sacrifice of the Greek Foreign Minister could well be such a symbolic step. "To dismiss the minister is a trifling affair. For Cipress, this is not a problem. The only one whom Tsipras can not dismiss is himself, because he went to this place for a long time, "notes Koltashov.

Oleg Moskvin
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