Cyprus fears Russia could wreck reunification

Politico reports: As Cypriot leaders tussle with Greece, Turkey and the U.K. over the most delicate parts of an agreement to reunify the island, there’s a growing fear that Russia could spoil a deal.

That’s because the Kremlin has little to gain from the end of a four-decade split between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

A peace deal would ease tensions between the European Union and Turkey, open the way to formal cooperation between the EU and NATO (blocked because Turkey and Cyprus don’t officially recognize each other), give Turkey a new source of natural gas imports and hand Brussels a diplomatic success story after a series of blows last year.

None of those advance Russia’s interests.

The fear on the Greek Cypriot side is that Moscow is using social and mass media, as well as ties to fringe nationalist political parties and the Greek Orthodox Church, to undermine the settlement talks. [Continue reading…]

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