The US’ strengthening of its energy and security partnerships with the emerging strategic axis of Greece, “Israel”, and Cyprus (GRISCY) through the proposed “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act” will contribute to containing multipolarity in the region by working against the interests of Turkey, Russia, and even China.
The GRISCY Game-Changer
Adam Garrie’s observation last year about the emerging Greek-“Israeli“-Cypriot (GRISCY) axis has been validated after two Senators just proposed the “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act” that will see the US strengthen its energy and strategic partnerships with this alliance. The popular Greek outlet Ekathimerini summarized the bill’s most important provisions as follows:
“- Lift the prohibition on arms sales to the Republic of Cyprus;
- Authorize the establishment of a United States-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Center to facilitate energy cooperation between the US, Israel, Greece, and Cyprus;
- Authorize $3,000,000 in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance for Greece;
- Authorize $2,000,000 for International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece and $2,000,000 for Cyprus.
- Impede the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey, as long as Turkey continues with plans to purchase the S-400 air defense system from the Russian Federation, a purchase that would be sanctionable under US law.
- Require the Administration to submit to Congress a strategy on enhanced security and energy cooperation with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as reports on malign activities by Russia and other countries in the region.”
From the above, it’s clear to see that this is a blatantly anti-Turkish piece of legislation, albeit one that’s also equally contrary to Russian and Chinese interests as well. This means that the Act is actually intended to contain multipolarity in the region and is therefore poised to be a game-changing geopolitical development if it enters into law.
Greece & Cyprus
GRISCY brings together three anti-Turkish states along Ankara’s Western and Southern peripheries and gives them a sense of integrational purpose through the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline that they’re all involved in, which in turn serves as the physical basis for expanding their energy relations to the political, military, and ultimately strategic levels.
Greece fulfills an especially important role in this alliance because of Turkey’s transit dependence on it for connecting the Azerbaijani-originating TANAP gas pipeline to Southern Europe, which interestingly puts Ankara in the position of possibly being blackmailed by Athens (either on Greece’s own initiative of at the urging of one of its partners) just like Moscow was by Kiev in the early 2000s.
Another point of pertinence in relation to Greece is that it aspires to become a regional leader in the interconnected Balkan-Eastern Mediterranean space not only through its energy connectivity potential but also because of the role that it’s played in the Republic of Macedonia (now “recognized” as the so-called “Republic of North Macedonia”) and Cyprus.
While Macedonia isn’t of strategic relevance for Turkey, Cyprus certainly is due to the unresolved issue over the northern part of the island, which is why the resumption of American arms shipments to Nicosia could be very troubling for Ankara and must therefore be seen as “punishment” for its purchase of the S-400s and failure to cooperate with Washington in Syria to the extent that the Pentagon wants.
The “Clash Of Civilizations”
It goes without saying that Greece and Cyprus are also very economically destitute countries whose governments can easily be bought by the US and “Israel”, and with both of their populations being anti-Turkish to the bone, these countries’ alliances with those two aforementioned powers will probably be overlooked by many or even praised because of Washington and Tel Aviv’s antipathy to Ankara nowadays.
There’s even a credible chance that its many supporters at home and abroad will present GRISCY’s role as the US’ “Lead From Behind” proxy for managing Eastern Mediterranean affairs through the prism of the so-called “Clash of Civilizations” by portraying it as the West’s “frontline defense” for “protecting Judeo-Christian civilization” from Islam, which could wildly increase its appeal among many right-wing individuals.
Russia & China
Not only would GRISCY contain Turkey, however, but Ekathimerini’s last-mentioned detail about the proposed Act specifically indicates that it has an anti-Russian purpose as well, one that could very easily be expanded throughout the entire Eastern Mediterranean region as recently proven by Pompeo’s threat to sanction Egypt if it proceeds with its planned large-scale purchase of Russian warplanes.
More specifically to the alliance’s three members, the US could try to thwart TurkStream’s possible expansion to Greece en route to Italy, continue cracking down on oligarchic holdings in Cyprus, and try to weaken the Russian-“Israeli” Strategic Partnership, as well as potentially cut off Moscow’s “Levantine Line” trade route between Crimea, Syria, the Sinai, and Eritrea in the event of a crisis.
Concerning China, Beijing’s control over the Greek port of Piraeus provides the People’s Republic with a reliable entry point to the Polish-led “Three Seas Initiative”and is the basis for its Balkan Silk Road, so it’s in the US’ interests to monitor all activity related to this important node in the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) and to also keep tabs on Chinese activity in the strategic “Israeli” port of Haifa, too.
As argued in this analysis, all of the above-mentioned points clearly prove that the US’ “Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act” is intended to contain multipolarity in the Eastern Mediterranean by strengthening America’s strategic ties with its “Lead From Behind” proxy of GRISCY in order to thwart Turkish, Russian, and even Chinese designs in the region.
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This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.