By Andreas C Chrysafis, Author – Writer – Painter
The situation in the Ukraine is a classic example of how political double standards are applied in the name of socio-economic dominance. All sorts of political rhetoric and pretexts for initiating a new cold war have surfaced to haunt the world over. Worse, NATO is gung-ho to play war games against the “Russian invasion of Ukraine”. In a show of military strength, war maneuvers are under way in the Black Sea in preparation and in anticipation for such madness.
The old skeletons of the past reeked with mistrust, cloak and dagger and political point-scoring full of ambiguities have risen from the dead to destabilize world order. Just like in Syria and Iraq, Ukraine has become the next victim of economic colonialism and nation-breakup.
The name of the game is energy! This makes the Black Sea region potentially a major geopolitical game for control and has become a tinderbox. Transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Black Sea and the Bosporus Straits also makes Turkey a prime-controlling player. LNG is becoming one of the most important energy sources for the hungry European markets and controlling the Black Sea route, offers Turkey broader leverage than any other player in Europe. Western powers including the EU, do not wish to fall out with this nation.
The crisis in the Crimean Peninsula is not simply an accident in the making but it’s rather a strategic geopolitical move for power. For the first time ever, the paper tigers of the European Union have taken an active role in this game of events and have finally revealed their trump card; the EU has ambitions of becoming another major world power in line with the USA and Russia.
The present crisis can be attributed directly to the European Union’s meddling in the affairs of this nation and retaliation to Ukraine’s decision to turn its back on the EU. Even Dr. Kissinger accused the EU in the Washington Post last week for being partly responsible for the present crisis.
Ukraine is now divided into two major camps: one of pro-Russia and the other of Pro-EU. Depending on which side of the fence one sits, the real truth is hidden somewhere between the two. Nonetheless ninety-seven percent of the Crimean people have overwhelmingly voted for union with Russia. Western leaders on the other hand are fuming and claim that the referendum was an illegal act and will take immediate steps in the form of sanctions against the Kremlin.
However, referenda cannot be dismissed on a whim. They form the backbone of a democratic society and serve as a people’s veto applied against ill-conceived government policies; governments do not have the privilege or the mandate to pick and choose referendum results as they wish and where it suits them best. The “saintly” attitude of EU and G-7 refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the referendum is a prime example of double standards applied when peoples’ decisions are not in their favour.
Constitutionally, Crimea has always been an Autonomous Parliamentary Republic, which in fact makes it a separate legal entity within Ukraine. If powerful nations start to ignore the referendum results of the people, then one enters into a dangerous world era; an era of elected pseudo-democratic systems where might is right and ultimately legitimizes dictatorial rule.
Without a doubt the EU and Washington are anxious to slap sanctions against Russia. They will take the form of travel bans, trade measures as well as asset freezes against individuals and firms accused by Brussels of violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine. When those measures are implemented they will become EU foreign policy directives and would commit all member-states to partake in the scheme. One can be assured that Russia will retaliate with all its power against those who conspire against her interests.
Cyprus will soon be faced with a dilemma; the implementation of EU sanctions against Russia and Crimea! When that materializes, it will certainly damage its friendly relationship with Russia; a nation that has long been a strong supporter of Cyprus with practical deeds and not rhetoric!
Unfortunately, the present Europhile Anastasiades government misguidedly believes that EU-Troika and the EU bureaucratic institution are patron saints and can do nothing wrong. It is most probable that Cyprus will have no other choice but to apply EU sanctions against Russia; that would be catastrophic!
The consequences of economic tit-for-tat implications will soon start to unfold and the tangible repercussions would be immeasurable: tourism from Russia will probably take a nose-dive; banking will suffer; Russian capital may move elsewhere; inward investment will trickle down to nothing and the consequences of such insanity will push Cyprus into a deeper recession and economic ruin.
Ultimately, Cyprus will become reliant on additional poisoned Troika loans and the spiral web of crippling loan-dependency will push the country into a straightjacket. By then, EU-Troika lenders will go for the kill; demand shares or rights of the nation’s natural gas (LNG) as a collateral and security under the signed terms of the Mnimonio Agreement. The discovery of natural gas may turn into a nightmare unless decisive measures are taken to prevent that from happening.
One of those measures for Cyprus is to take control and determine its own destiny by refusing to play a part in any sanctions imposed against Russia. It can also consider getting out of the Eurozone or the Euro currency before the country completely sinks into a black hole. It could remain as a trading partner of the EU but must shy away from deeper political integration.
As it stands, Cyprus has now found itself in a quandary. Yet Mr. Kasoulides the foreign minister, a staunch and devout Europhile (just like President Anastasiades) stated that: “Cyprus upholds certain principles which may have to do with illegal referenda or the occupation of the territory of one country by another” – a broad statement indeed and that’s precisely where the problem lies; how will Nicosia interpret the result of the Crimean referendum!
Meanwhile, the present negotiations on the Cyprus issue don’t look so promising; there is still a great gulf separating the two sides! In fact, Turkey is not prepared to abandon its 40-year-old trophy and because of that, a new development may soon emerge to alter the entire political scene for good.
Encouraged by Ankara the Turkish Cypriot leadership – with or without a Cyprus solution – may decide in the future to hold a referendum to either: (a) break away from the Republic (b) unilaterally declare a new state or (c) unite the breakaway sector with mainland Turkey as Crimea did. That possibility is more real than imagined; threats of the kind were made many times over in the past!
Will the EU and Western powers then impose similar sanctions and military moves against Turkey as they did on Russia or would they simply accept the result of such a referendum and welcome the new breakaway Turkish Cypriot state? The verdict is not out yet, but one can be assured that when the time comes double standards will play a pivotal role.
Time is of the essence. Under the present crisis the country desperately needs a leadership blessed with statesmanship that not only can “no” but can also make revolutionary changes and wise decisions; decisions that places national interests well above petty-political careers, dogmatism and Kommatokratia (politicocracy). For Cyprus that’s a big order indeed…!