Backing Greece, Cyprus, US Warns Turkey Over Warships, Russian Missiles

FILE - US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Aaron Wess Mitchell, during a joint press conference with Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci, at Pristina international airport on March 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

The United States it won’t much longer stand for Turkish warships trying to block foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus and said if Ankara goes ahead with plans to buy Russian missiles then US F-35’s won’t be up for sale.

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said the US had made its stance on the matter “clear” to Turkey and wasn’t happy with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing provocations in the Aegean, including having Turkish fighter jets and warships violating Greek airspace and waters.

“The US cannot be silent when Turkey’s leaders curb democratic freedoms and the rule of law, harangue Israel, and wield rhetoric or pursue policies that unnerve Ankara’s neighbors and (America’s) close friends and allies,” he said.

Cyprus, he said, is “a vulnerable state that needs greater Western attention while continuing the process toward a bizonal, bicommunal federation.” He added that energy resources in the region are “a major plank of European energy diversification as Europe’s traditional northern fields wind down.”

He also warned if Turkey proceeds with the purchase of Russian S-400s, its participation in programs with the US, including the F-35’s, could be off the table. Greece and Greek-American groups said they feared the US jets could be used against Greece as could the Russian missiles if a conflict developed.

Turkey has reportedly chosen to delay – but not cancel – the delivery of the S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia by a few months, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported, citing unidentified diplomatic sources.

The report said that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a meeting in Washington on June 4 that his country chose to have the S-400s delivered after 19 months, instead of the nine-month option offered by Russia.

The official reason presented by Turkey was that it needed more time to train its soldiers to use the new anti-ballistic missile systems, which would otherwise have to be handled by Russians.

“If we had accepted a nine-month delivery option then we would have no control on the use of S-400s. They would be used only by Russian experts, as national software would not be ready to be uploaded,” the report added.

“Instead, we have chosen the 19-month option so that we could prepare our technical works and use them under fully Turkish control. We are very sensitive on this,” the official added.

PILLAR OF STABILITY

As has US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, Mitchell said that Greece is “an anchor of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Balkans,” speaking out with Erdogan seeking re-election in snap June 24 polls he called.

Erdogan is also furious that Greece would not return eight Turkish soldiers seeking asylum after fleeing a failed July, 2016 failed coup against him in which they denied taking part. They were freed after a maximum 18-month detention period but while Premier Alexis Tsipras opposes asylum for them, he said they can’t be extradited after Greece’s highest court barred their return, saying their lives would be in danger.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos briefed NATO on a threat by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag that Turkey will kidnap the Turkish soldiers and as two Greek soldiers remain detained after accidentally crossing the border while on patrol March 1 in bad weather, with no charges brought.
Both countries belong to NATO but the defense alliance’s chief, Jens Stoltenberg, said he wants no part of the troubles and Greece is on its own.

Kammenos said Bozdag’s comments implied Turkey will launch a military campaign against a NATO ally to “abduct” the Turkish servicemen.

6 Comments

  1. Wow, a US official sounding like he could support Greece and Cyprus. It was nice to read this.

  2. “Both countries belong to NATO but the defense alliance’s chief, Jens Stoltenberg, said he wants no part of the troubles and Greece is on its own.”
    I suppose he is preoccupied promoting his autobiography “Min historie.”

  3. I can’t believe I just read this! Are things actually turning in Greece’s favor? Thank you Erdogan for being such a stupid arrogant sultan you are making Greece relevant again in the eyes of the west!

    1. You must be delusional to think that the comments made by Nato leader United States, is in representing the interests of Greece. or Cyprus!

      The only interests, the United States represents is their financial benefactors from the UK. Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have spent 2 decades provoking wars and government overthrows to protect their oil and gas interests thru out the Middle East and Europe. Today, their interests is in control of the oil and gas interests in the waters of Cyprus, and in dictating the sovereignty of Turkey to purchase only military equipment from the Industrial Military complex of the United States! Nothing more!

      Greece and Cyprus are mere props to put pressure on Turkey to comply with the policy of the United States, not the world or even EU countries to portray Russia as an enemy of not just the United States but all the countries of the world! In other words, you are also an enemy of the United States, if you do not comply with their enemies list…..not those of the world! To this end, you are not allowed to have a relationship with any country, .that the empire determines to not compliant to the policies of the United States…period!

      The recent economic sanctions against Russia , China, Venezuela, Iran, India, North Korea, Bolivia, Syria, etc etc by the United States, now demands compliance of all countries in the world to support or face punishment for continuing to do business with Russia! Last week….the German Prime minister and the EU…..condemned the United States wack jobs for attempting to sabotage a contracted gas and oil pipeline called streamline 2, which will provide huge amount of cheaper gas and oil to Germany and other EU countries! You see, the empire now decides who you can trade with and has threatened to hit Germany and other EU countries if they continue business with Russia…siting , and if you , do not understand Fascism…..that Russia would have greater influence in the EU! Now I didn’t say this …..the degenerates in Washington said this!

      Keep in mind, the degenerates who have not found a war they haven’t liked for the past 20 years, are also the same guys who just supported Turkish demands that Cyprus would be required to share revenues from the oil and gas production from the territorial waters of Cyprus with Turkish Cypriots of the invaded and illegally occupied territory of Norther Cyprus….and apparently, became the first country to recognize the Northern Republic of Cyprus, as a legitimate country with rights…..and to date have no recognition outside of Turkey!

      This is laughable….. the euphoric cheers that the United States is supporting Greece and Cyprus….in confronting Turkey, because of their alleged bad behavior in violating the air space of Greece, when the reality is that they will only support Greece, if Turkey fails to cancel their orders of anti-ballistic missiles from Russia, by not selling them the advanced f-35 fighters , that they have promised Turkey!
      Therefore, not only will they sell Turkey, the F-35 war planes if they comply, but throw in the Patriot Anti Ballistic system, to replace the Russian S-400 missile systems they cancelled! Additionally, they will probably continue to stock about 20 nuclear warheads in Ankara, in violation of all Nuclear proliferation treaties, which are available to the Turks in an emergency!

      Maybe, the cheerleaders can explain how that represents and supports the interest of the people of Greece, and does not help the Turks to continue their assault on Greece and Cyprus!

      U.S. and Nato are the real Trojan horses of this century….and Greeks should be a lot smarter to how this ends….if they continue to house them!

      All we are witnessing …is the evolution of fascism, with the help of a compliant media, run by the beneficiaries of their actions…..Aristocratic millionaires!

      I admire Mr. Edrogan, because he knows how to play the game, by once in a while, demonstrating the sovereignty of Turkey , in doing what is in the best interests of his country, in deciding who he wishes to do business with….not the Hated Americans his population and all of the Middle East love to hate!

      I would suggest that the writers start cheering on EU support of Greece and Cyprus…. by starting to join it EU members states in beginning to attempt to separate them from a country that clearly has exposed itself in continuing to violate the sovereignty of the countries of Europe!

      Michael Gianakos

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