Stavros Lygeros: Will Mitsotakis support Anastasiades’ veto?
The Oruc Reis has left the eastern Mediterranean and has returned to the port of Antalya for maintenance, according to official Turkish sources.
Athens believes that the condition it set has been met and thus the road to negotiations is now open. But is this the fact? We note that the Oruc Reis was, for a month and a half conducting illegal surveys in a prospective Greek continental shelf, and now we believe that this never happened.
As if the Oruc Reis would remain there forever. As if rape lasts forever. And when its over it is expunged. It is obvious that Athens wants the initiation of negotiations to distance itself from the possibility of a “hot incident”. That’s why it’s turning a blind eye to what has already taken place, erasing what has already happened, meaning a Turkish fait accompli. The fait accompli that Erdogan wanted before negotiations would begin, in order to have the advantage. This is the real story. This reality cannot change despite any legitimate, or illegitimate, expediencies.
It is obvious that the return of the Oruc Reis to the port of Antalya is a tactical move. Its purpose is to facilitate those within the EU that want Turkey to get off with a slap on the wrist. In other words, they want to avoid the imposition of sanctions. And now this opportunity is offered, and in fact, with a Greek signature, if we are to judge from the statement of PM Mitsotakis that “the road for negotiations is now open”. When negotiations are ongoing, sanctions are not imposed.
There is a problem in this backdrop. That is the decision of the President of Cyprus Anastasiades to veto the imposition of sanctions on Belarus, if at the same time sanctions are not imposed on Turkey. Not for the Oruc Reis, which is a Greek matter, but for the illegal research and drilling, piratical research and drilling by Turkey, to be exact, within Cyprus’ EEZ. Let’s not forget that these have been ongoing for years, and we are speaking of an unabashed infringement, not of a prospective EEZ, as in the case of Greece, but of a delineated EEZ, meaning the crystal clear sovereign rights of a nation.
Because the Republic of Cyprus does not have armed forces, Europe pretends it sees nothing, for a long time now. When it came to imposing sanctions, it imposed such sanctions as caused raucous laughter in Ankara.
What might happen, when the Republic of Cyprus at the EU summit might state that it will not vote for sanctions on Belarus, if sanctions are not imposed on Ankara. What will the Greek Prime Minister do? Will he stand by Cyprus, or not? Because if he lets Cyprus stand alone, it is obvious he will bear the political cost, because he will essentially be seen as not speaking as a European, but he will seem to be speaking like a Greek from the mainland, not even a Hellene. In other words, what he has been asking for Greece, he will not give for the Republic of Cyprus, a double standard. Not just on the level of national bonds between Greece and Cyprus, but also on the level of European solidarity, on the level of principles.
This will be a stance of unreliability, despite the fact that most EU members, Germany first and foremost, will see such a stance very favorably.
On the other hand, we must say, that if Mitsotakis supports the veto of Cyprus, it is very likely that Ankara will use this stance by the Greek PM to again place obstacles for the initiation of negotiations.
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