Greece the Leverage in the Middle

Greece as a Pawn in Putin’s Chess Game vs. the West


By Martin Fluck

Last week the world woke up to the fact that Greece’s new government holds a geopolitical trump card: it can hold the EU ransom by threatening to break the fragile consensus on Russia.

The renewal of sanctions against Russia requires the unanimous support of EU members… which means Obama’s alliance against Russia needs Greek cooperation. What’s more, Greece has veto power over whether NATO can retaliate for an attack on any of its members. … The new Greek government … is playing both sides, leveraging its veto power to get what it wants in debt negotiations. …

Greece and Russia have close cultural and religious ties, and Russia is Greece’s largest trading partner. … Russia has hinted that it will open its market to Greek food exports if Greece leaves the eurozone, and also that it would consider giving Greece financial aid. One can imagine other carrots being dangled, like an offer to hook up Greece to the Turkish Stream pipeline.

Syriza, which has close connections with Russia, admires Putin’s defiance of Western institutions. … (The Greek foreign minister) says he’ll work to prevent a rift between the EU and Russia, (but) has already recognized the legitimacy of the Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine and dismisses the Ukrainian government as a neo-Nazi junta. …

President Obama is supporting Greece’s push for a debt restructuring, and France’s finance minister, Michael Sapin, concedes that Greece has a legitimate right to lighten its debt burden. Even the EU Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, appears to be prepared to scrap the troika.

At this point, it seems possible—and maybe even likely—that Germany won’t get its way in debt negotiations. Larger strategic matters are at stake. … We could be nearing a historic turning point. The euro and the Ukraine crises are converging …

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About icliks

Biding my time in central ms ... yours too, if ur reading this.
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