The contrasting responses of the the US and Russia to Turkey’s violation of Greek sovereignty
It is interesting to see the contrast in the responses of the US and Russian government to Turkey’s habitual violation of Greek sovereignty, which recently involved Turkish patrol vessels entering Greek waters off the coast of Oinousses.
The US gave an expected milk toast response, stating “we encourage Greece and Turkey to work together to maintain good neighborly relations and to promote peace and stability in the region.” Such a statement makes it seem that both countries need to do more “maintain good neighborly relations” when it is Turkey that is the actual aggressor and instigator. Furthermore such a statement ignores that Greece has never offensively responded to the literal thousands of Turkish violations, when it would be in their sovereign right to do so.
On the other hand the Russians have expressed a much different sentiment on the issue. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently stated that Turkey has “neo-Ottoman” tendencies. To prove his point he adduced Turkey’s Plan B for Syria, their military presence in northern Iraq and their violating Greek airspace 1,800 times during the last year. Lavrov concluded “This kind of explicitly expansionist behavior, can’t lead to anything good.”
The Russians are able to see a situation for what it is and are not afraid to point out the obvious, that Turkey is attempting to reconstitute the Ottoman Empire, which explains their behavior in Greece, Iraq and Syria. On the other hand the Americans, who must be realizing by now that Turkey is a difficult ally to work with, unless they are complete idiots, seem to be unwilling to reign in their expansionist ally, let alone strongly criticize or reprimand them.
From the stand point of Greece, one wonders what actual benefit they derive from being part of both NATO and the EU. Both these organizations do little to assist Greece against their historical adversary Turkey. In fact both NATO and EU, particularly the latter, seem unusually willing to placate Turkey’s demands, whether it be related to the migrant crisis or the Syrian Civil War.
At a certain point Greece must consider the reality that their desire to be apart of the West is reaping them little benefit and is actually hindering their progress and development. It seems to me that a Greek pivot towards Russia would be much more beneficial to them and would provide them with an actual ally that could assist them against one of their main problems, which is the neo-Ottoman tendencies of Turkey.