The coverage of the economic disaster in Greece, a strategic NATO country, has mostly ignored the role of Vladimir Putin’s Russia in the growing global turmoil.
Reports continue to circulate that a new European Union (EU) bailout deal with Greece is possible, as Yanis Varoufakis, a self-described “erratic Marxist,” has resigned as finance minister. But these developments appear to be for the purpose of diverting attention away from the fact that Greece has already become, in effect, a satellite of Moscow.
The Greek regime is a Moscow-backed left-right coalition led by Alexis Tsipras, the pro-Marxist and pro-Russia head of Greece’s “Coalition of the Radical Left.” Tsipras, who presented himself as a moderate when he spoke at the Brookings Institution on January 22, 2013, was a member of the youth wing of the Greek Communist Party, the KKE.
The political party known as ANEL (The Independent Greeks) is supposed to be a “conservative” party in the ruling government and yet it is pro-Russian. This reflects Putin’s cultivation of right-wing forces throughout Europe and even in America.
Back from a recent visit to Russia, Tsipras is now counting on cheaper gas and increased Russian investment from Moscow. The prospect of Russian military bases in NATO territory—Greece—cannot be ruled out at this point.
Tsipras previously signed a memorandum that is designed to make 2016 into the “Year of Greece-Russia relations.”
After his coalition won the elections in January, Tsipras received a congratulatory call from President Obama. The two leaders “reviewed close cooperation between Greece and the United States on issues of European security and counterterrorism,” the White House reported.
That alleged “close cooperation” has been replaced by a Greek deal with Moscow.
It seems like just another foreign policy disaster under President Obama, except in this case the stakes are huge. NATO notes that “Greece is strategically located in the Southern region of the Alliance, in close vicinity to South Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa.”
But other than expressing a vague hope that European leaders would devise a plan to allow Greece “to return to growth and debt sustainability within the Eurozone,” Obama has been AWOL on the crisis, leaving it mostly in the hands of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The subject of reports and even a book suggesting she is a Russian agent, Merkel knows full well that Tsipras and Putin have been undermining the NATO alliance at a time when the West fears a Russian invasion of another former Soviet republic.
For example, in the report, “Stop Putin’s Next Invasion Before It Starts,” Terrence K. Kelly of the Rand Corporation argues that “The United States needs to seriously consider stationing forces in Eastern Europe to support the nation’s commitment to protect the independence of the Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania—NATO members all—against the specter of Russian aggression.”
Some news organizations have alluded to Russia’s role in the current crisis. “Russian President Vladimir Putin feted Tsipras in St. Petersburg last month as bailout negotiations took place in Brussels,” noted Michael Birnbaum and Griff Witte in The Washington Post.
During that meeting Tsipras discussed energy and the “Greek Stream” gas pipeline project with Russian Gazprom chief Alexei Miller during a meeting in St. Petersburg. In fact, Russia and Greece signed a deal to construct a Turkish pipeline across Greek territory. Tsipras also met with representatives of the new development bank for BRICS countries, referring to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, “who expressed their intense interest in cooperating with Greece,” one report noted.
“Russia has its eye on Athens, trying to break European unity to put an end to economic sanctions imposed over its actions in Ukraine,” Birnbaum and Witte noted in the Post.
But the situation is far more serious than the Post lets on. Syriza’s 40-point program includes undermining NATO, the global battle against Islamic terrorism, and Israel:
- Closure of all foreign bases in Greece and withdrawal from NATO.
- Withdrawal of Greek troops from Afghanistan and the Balkans. No Greek soldiers beyond our own borders.
- Drastically cut military expenditures.
- Abolition of military cooperation with Israel. Support for creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
Syriza, a Greek political party, is a member of The European Left (EL). Member Parties of the EL are described as “socialist, communist, red-green and other democratic left parties of the member states and associated states of the European Union (EU) that work together and establish various forms of co-operation at all levels of political activity in Europe, based on the agreements, basic principles and political aims laid down in the EL Manifesto.” The chairperson of EL is Pierre Laurent of the French Communist Party. Tsipras is the Vice-Chairperson.
In addition to the support from these international Marxist political parties and groups, Tsipras met with the leftist Pope Francis on September 19, 2014. Tsipras said, “We pleaded with him to continue struggling against poverty and to speak in behalf of the dignity of humans as well as the structural causes behind poverty which are the inequality in the distribution of wealth and the rampant behavior of the financial markets. …we agreed that the dialogue between the Left and the Christian Church must go on. We may have different ideological starting points; however, we converge on common values, like solidarity, love for the fellow human being, social justice, and our concern regarding world peace.”
“For the first time ever the head of the Catholic Church will meet a leader of the radical Left,” is how Tsipras described the meeting with the pope at his “Change Europe” website.
In their book, EUSSR, Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov argued that the European Union was itself a project of the old Soviet Union, and that the EU has always been subject to manipulation by Moscow and its agents. Based on this analysis, what’s happening in Greece is part of a process of pulling Europe as a whole to the left and away from the United States.
The eventual goal, some observers say, is the removal of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency, a development that would strike a mortal blow to the global capitalist system.