Italy is now a clear victim of globalization, which is governed only by those who have a very precise vision of their own country and have access to very confidential information, as well as by those who are able to quickly and wisely exploit its continued asymmetries and finally by those countries that impose their game with a wide range of “indirect strategies”.
These are the dimensions of the battlefield of this new, endless, “limitless war” which is fought without even firing a shot.
Non-sovereignty over its own national space, now ratified by unconscionable agreements on territorial waters with France in February 2016, or with the new borders between Italy and Slovenia on the Torrente Barbucina, as well as the utter foolishness – despite Interior Minister Minniti’s professionalism – in the late response to the epochal crisis of migration from sub-Saharan Africa, all are signs that – after losing the globalization game – Italy is also losing sight of the Hobbesian goals for which all Sovereigns are born, namely protecting the life, property and freedom of their citizens.
Today the losers do not go to Versailles hat in hand, but are simply wiped out.
Hence those who lose the globalization game are pulverized and turned into an undisputed mass of losers, whereas the winners become a new nation-State absorbing and hegemonizing its neighbours.
Not to mention the tensions on the external value of the euro and the complex manoeuvres on government debt securities.
The real rulers govern also financial markets; they do not expect to be contacted, they talk to those markets every day and can impose their will on them.
Hence, for Italy the Second Republic – as it is called with some exaggeration – has been only a crown of thorns.
Born as a swindle, the one of “honest” politicians against the “thieves”, it will end – unlike what T.S. Eliot said – “not with a bang but a whimper”.
And it will continue to be a silly crown of thorns, while the future governments will believe in an inevitable fate or in what Saragat – a great albeit now forgotten political leader – called the “cynical and cheating destiny”.
The rampant corruption which, in the transition phase from the First to the Second Republic, simply shifted from the ruling class to the administrative-bureaucratic class; the environmental crisis and the recent fires; the economic growth affecting only exports and only to the tune of 18%; mass poverty and the tension that will never slacken with these low economic growth rates, are all signs that we are passive subject and not the active subject of global strategies decided by others and about which our rulers know nothing.
As long as these are the elites representing us, the disgusted people will vote elsewhere, while the superficially globalized ruling classes will unite, but will gradually lose any power.
Hence the Catholic Church responds to the new global scenario with Pope Francis, a Bishop of Rome coming from Argentina, another country of failed globalization and economic disasters caused by the combination of hetero-directed policies and parasitic ruling classes.
As demonstrated by the latest article by Father Antonio Spadaro, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica”, that rightly aroused great interest in the current cultural and political world, the Catholic Church knows very well what is really at stake.
In this perspective, Pope Francis’ Church is changing its evangelization model completely.
In other words, Catholicism is currently playing its new global role as winner of globalization in everybody’s favour – and particularly in favour of the countries and peoples that are losing this game.
Following his Jesuit background, Pope Francis wants to transform – on the basis of equality – Peter’s Church into a universal Church, even at physical and material levels.
Never be identified as “part of the West”, but as the suffering Heart of Christ in all mankind.
This reminds us of the Jesuits who learnedly equated the Sioux and Cheyenne mythologies to the Trinitarians’ ones, or of the Fathers who introduced – in Portuguese India – Hindu or Buddhist words in the Holy Mass.
The Holy Pope’s words seem to echo the cries of the Jesuits who organized estancias in Paraguay or who always defended Latin American peoples during the 20th century dictatorships. such as Father Jalics, or the cry of the six Jesuits killed in El Salvador’s universities only twenty-five years ago, possibly while some high prelates played tennis with the “Generals”.
Hence we can understand the Vatican’s rational negotiations with China, disliked by the Conservatives, or the political and religious connection with the Russian Federation, while Cardinal Parolin is preparing for a visit to Moscow that will certainly lead to significant results.
As Cardinal Parolin stated, the visit to Russia, at the time when the relations between Russia and the West are at the lowest ebb, shall build new “bridges” and pave the way for a dialogue with the Kremlin’s leadership “in which we put ourselves in the shoes of others” – so as to talk about Middle East, Islam and Ukraine also with Putin and his aides and associates, but certainly with Patriarch Kirill.
In the past it was the Russian President who donated to Pope Francis a copy of St. Vladimir’s icon of the Mother of God, the highly-venerated icon that was flown over Moscow’s skies by the atheist Stalin at the toughest time of the Nazi siege.
Never was a gift more politically symbolic.
At that time, somehow rightly, there was talk about an alliance between Russia and the Vatican in a pro-Shiite perspective and, in any case, excluding the United States.
In our opinion, the fundamental fact is that currently the Church of Christ makes global politics just because it is abandoning its typically Western image and approach and hence does no longer want to be regarded and interpreted according to the positive or negative categories developed in the wake of this universe of political and cultural identities.
This is universalism, also and above by putting itself in the shoes of others and of their very ancient traditions.
In fact, Xi Jinping reminded Pope Francis of the Jesuit artist, Father Castiglione, and the Holy Father, who loves the Chinese people, said to the Chinese President that “the world is awaiting the wisdom and civilization of the Chinese people”.
As St. Ignatius of Loyola said, while obviously referring to Satan, the enemy is like a military leader who must besiege a city and get round its walls to find a weak point.
For the Pope who comes from the Society of Jesus, the enemy getting round the world that must be saved by the Word is the old dual thinking that caused the peripheral wars during the USA-USSR confrontation, characterized by a closed-mind cultural approach, by the fear of the others and by the hegemony of the old powers.
If the old “Cold War” balance of power remains after this phase of globalization, only old living corpses will remain.
While the globalization-Americanization still seeks to divide the world between the rich and the poor, between the winners and the losers, by crazily widening gaps, Pope Francis wants to build “bridges” with everyone so as to prevent the globalization of the economy – or indeed its Americanization – from still breaking mankind into two.
It is worth recalling that there is the severe danger that the universalisation of the economy – or even the absolute adoration of the golden calf – binds itself to an economic system based on a politically overvalued currency, with a huge debt – namely the US dollar – and to a project of “democratic wars,” such as the absurd Arab Springs, which are bound to create very poor small client States and often odd ethnicity pockets.
And the future wars will certainly be “never-ending” conflicts which are intended to stabilize at a high level of contrast.
Hence the Church’s bridges are designed to avoid or overcome a new Yalta, or to marginalize some peoples and favour others.
And this is a fundamental theme, namely the polemic on the Protestant political theology, which can be found in Father Spadaro’s article.
The Puritanism that was sent, as punishment, to the thirteen colonies was a kind of proto-jihadism within the Church of England that the sect sent there by the London Inquisition (also the Church of England had its own Inquisition) accused of being too pro-Catholic.
It is worth recalling that the word “fundamentalism” was coined in the modern era within the many factions of American Puritanism, and was later applied by similarity to the neo-extremist factions of the Wahhabi jihad and to the theology of the “Solid Base” (al-Qaeda al-Sulbah) – halfway between the Karigites and the Muslim Brotherhood – that went to Afghanistan with Saudi, Pakistani and US funds to fight against the Red Army.
It was a US friend, a cruel butcher of the Balkan wars, Alja Izetbegovic, who in the 1940s, in Tito’s prisons, wrote the book entitled “Islamic Fundamentalism”.
Hence, in the North-American Protestant theology, Father Spadaro sees an empirical connection between religion and politics, between the brains and the brawn, without any assessment of circumstances – a Machiavellian and Jesuit theme.
We may say that currently in the Unites States the reformed radical religiosity is present almost exclusively within the social classes marginalized by globalization, that have no voice in today’s US society.
Not even with a President prisoner of the “Deep State” between the State Department and CIA, that – for once – agreed to have a Clinton Presidency to “end the job” in Syria and create a casus belli with the Russian Federation.
A sort of Dr. Strangelove, who deals with psychological and IT wars, is currently operating in some US halls of power.
However, both the US ruling class and the US working class – that is more linked to the images spread by media – are prey to a real negatio Dei.
By using the title of a famous Rolling Stones’ song, this negatio Dei often turns into a practical and operational sympathy for the devil.
The refusal of any vestiges of Western civilization in fashionable university campuses; the servile implementation of “political correctness”, which even comically erase the great classics – as not even done by the Red Guards, who at least had the courage to destroy them; the systematic destruction of personal identities and “intermediate bodies”, that have always been the basis of every democracy from Pericles to the present time, are all signs that not only – and not so much – the old fundamentalist and Protestant theology, but today’s atheism-Satanism, are the real enemies to be fought.
Certainly, the former created the latter and every Gnostic reference to God’s will according to our desires – from the Cathars to the Hussites until present time – with the theologies of confusion and wellbeing, is a Gnosticism calling the Enemy to operate directly.
It is worth remembering, however, that in the United States the fundamentalist Protestant theology is typical of those who are losing the game of globalization, while the establishment – that is the offspring of the LSD “dilated experiences” and of the American nonconformist 1968 protest movement (experiences that it later implemented in creative accounting and finance) – hates God, even Comenius’ God, with a fiery passion. Hence it has full sympathy for the devil and fights explicitly against any religion and forms of transcendence, with the pretext of a cheap form of “enlightenment”.
A fight even against the transcendence now lost in all Western ruling classes, focused on a unitary but not ecclesial, as well as a ritual but universalistic theology, which has always characterized the oldest traditions of Freemasonry, such as that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Today, especially in Italy, the narrative of the Association that has materially built Italy’s unit is linked to “Mafia”, “corruption” and to other scarcely esoteric issues.
Hence the real glue holding the ruling class is lost, while in the past the old Liberals and many Socialists, as well as many Republicans and some liberal Catholics, sat amicably in the Freemasons’ Lodge, thus being trained to dialogue and to political and human maturation.
In political terms, the loss of prestige of the Masonic Brotherhood is the seal of the structural fragmentation of Western ruling classes, which will bring them to death.
Without a unitary and identity narrative of elites, they will be progressively dissected and later destroyed.
Certainly the purpose of the current establishment is to reach a re-edition of Orwell’s 1984, but with a difference: what was previously explicit conditioning – engrammed, through consumers’ and Web algorithms, in everybody’s apparently free behaviour.
The new totalitarianism will lead us to do the same things, to buy the same items, to become poor and powerless, albeit with a feeling of instinctive omnipotence and uniqueness of the ego that certainly Orwell’s regime could not afford. Indeed, a Metaphor of Sovietism as it was.
Hence Italy will be a completely non-existent power.
We will only be a buffer country between Africa and North Europe, without even being allowed to say anything, by crawling like cats on the windows.
We will become a North-European colony with regard to the still productive structures. All the Northern productive chains are integrated into the German value chain. Hence it is worth recalling that the Neue Zuercher Zeitung has recently predicted a slow annexation of Lombardy to the Canton of Ticino by 2050 – and there are already many signs in this regard.
Nevertheless we will have a huge amount of people in the South – similar to what Baron Compagna defined as “rabbit runs” – who will live on charity at the expense of public debt or organized crime, which will make its globalization, between Africa and the South and between Southern Italy and the Balkan and Asian drugs routes.
As a great Italian banker predicted “we will be a country for tourism and art”.
When we created our great art masterpieces, however, Vespucci colonized North America, the Genoese bankers borrowed money to the King of Spain and Switzerland only provided us with the mercenaries that Machiavelli disliked.
Certainly, with a view to solving the Italian crisis at institutional level, the notes that President Cossiga sent to Parliament on June 26, 1991 would be enough.
Something very different from the Senate working half-time, as envisaged by the recent reform rejected by voters.
It was simple: end of the Constitution written by enemies who were glowering at one another, but were only busy blocking one another – and in fact a US analyst has defined our Constitution “the most dysfunctional in the world”; revision of local authorities and of the specific autonomy of the Higher Judiciary Council (CSM); a different and stricter organization of public finances.
We will talk about this issue, by also recalling a beautiful project developed by Gianfranco Miglio and some of his colleagues, gathered in the “Club of Milan”.
This ruling class, however, will do nothing but die in this institutional bed, now unable to dictate even one twitter to its press officer.
EU: The stalemate in negotiations brings Serbia ever closer to Russia and China
Serbia has been waiting since 2012 for the European Union to respond to its application to become a full member of the EU.
In spite of exhausting negotiations, this response is slow in coming and the main cause of the stalemate has a clear name: Kosovo. Before accepting Serbia’s application for membership, the EU requires a definitive solution to the relations between Serbia and that region that broke away from it after the 1999 conflict – when NATO came to the aid of the Kosovo Albanians – and proclaimed its independence in February 2008.
Serbia has never recognised the birth of the Kosovo Republic, just as many other important countries have not: out of 193 UN members, only 110 have formally accepted the birth of the new republic, while the rest, including Russia, China, Spain, Greece and Romania – to name just the most important ones – refuse to recognise the independence of the Albanians of what was once a region of Serbia.
The European Union cannot accept that one of its members is in fact unable to guarantee control over its borders, as would be the case for Serbia if its membership were accepted.
In fact, since the end of the war between Kosovo and Serbia, there is no clear and controlled border between the two countries. In order to avoid continuous clashes, Kosovo and Serbia have actually left the border open, turning a blind eye to the ‘smuggling economy’ that thrives on both sides of the border.
In this situation, if Serbia were to become a full member of the European Union, it would create a gap in the borders of the entire Schengen area, as anyone passing through Kosovo could then move into all EU countries.This is not the only obstacle to Serbia’s accession to the European
Union: many European chancelleries are wary of Serbian foreign policy which, since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation, has maintained a privileged relationship with Russia, refusing to adhere to the sanctions decided by Europe against Russia after the annexation of Crimea to the detriment of Ukraine.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Serbia even agreed to produce the Russian vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ directly in its own laboratories, blatantly snubbing EU’s vaccine offer.
For the United States and some important European countries, Serbia’s formal accession to the European Union could shift the centre of gravity of Europe’s geopolitics towards the East, opening a preferential channel for dialogue between Russia and the European Union through Serbia.
This possibility, however, is not viewed unfavourably by Germany which, in the intentions of the CDU President, Armin Laschet, the next candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as Chancellor, has recently declared he is in favour of a foreign policy that “develops in multiple directions”, warning his Western partners of the danger resulting from “the interruption of the dialogue with Russia and China”. In this regard, Laschet has publicly stated that ‘foreign policy must always focus on finding ways to interact, including cooperation with countries that have different social models from ours, such as Russia, China and the nations of the Arab world’.
Today we do not know whether in autumn Laschet will take over the leadership of the most powerful country in the European Union, but what is certain is that Serbia’s possible formal membership of the European Union could force Europe to revise some of its foreign policy stances, under the pressure of a new Serbian-German axis.
Currently, however, Serbia’s membership of the European Union still seems a long way off, precisely because of the stalemate in the Serbia-Kosovo negotiations.
In 2013 Kosovo and Serbia signed the so-called ‘Brussels Pact’, an agreement optimistically considered by European diplomats to be capable of rapidly normalising relations between Serbia and Kosovo, in view of mutual political and diplomatic recognition.
An integral part of the agreement was, on the one hand, the commitment of Kosovo’s authorities to recognise a high degree of administrative autonomy to the Kosovo municipalities inhabited by a Serb majority and, on the other hand, the collaboration of the Serbs in the search for the remains of the thousands of Kosovar Albanians presumably eliminated by Milosevic’s troops during the repression that preceded the 1999 war.
Neither of the two commitments has so far been fulfilled and, during the meeting held in Brussels on July 21 between Serbian President Alexander Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti, harsh words and reciprocal accusations were reportedly exchanged concerning the failure to implement the ‘Pact’, to the extent that the Head of European foreign policy, Josep Borrel, publicly asked the two parties to ‘close the chapter of a painful past through a legally binding agreement on the normalisation of mutual relations, with a view to building a European future for its citizens’. This future seems nebulous, to say the least, if we consider that Serbia, in fact, refuses to recognise the legal value of degrees and diplomas awarded by the Kosovo academic authorities also to members of the Kosovo Serb minority.
Currently, however, both contenders are securing support and alliances in Europe and overseas.
Serbia is viewed favourably by the current President of the European Union, Slovenian Janez Jansa, who is a supporter of its membership because “this would definitively mark the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation”. The vast majority of European right-wing parties, ranging from the French ‘Rassemblement National’ to the Hungarian ‘Fydesz’, also approve of Serbia’s membership application and openly court the Serbian minorities living in their respective countries while, after the years of US disengagement from the Balkans under Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, the Biden administration has decided to put the region back on the list of priority foreign policy commitments, entrusting the ‘Serbia dossier’ to the undersecretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer, an authoritative and experienced diplomat.
With a view to supporting its application for European membership, Serbia has also deployed official lobbyists.
Last June, Natasha Dragojilovic Ciric’s lobbying firm ND Consulting officially registered in the so-called EU ‘transparency register’ to promote support for Serbia’s membership. ND is financed by a group of international donors and is advised by Igor Bandovic, former researcher at the American Gallup and Head of the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, by lawyer Katarina Golubovic of the ‘Committee of Human Rights Lawyers’ and Jovana Spremo, former OSCE consultant.
These are the legal experts deployed by Serbia in Brussels to support its application for formal European integration, but in the meantime Serbia is not neglecting its “eastern” alliances.
Earlier this month, the Head of the SVR, the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, paid an official visit to Belgrade, a few weeks after the conclusion of a joint military exercise between Russian special forces (the “Spetznaz”) and Serbian special forces.
In the Serbian capital, Naryshkin not only met his Serbian counterpart Bratislav Gasic, Head of the ‘Bezbednosno Informativna Agencija’, the small but powerful Serbian secret service, but was also received by the President of the Republic Alexander Vucic with the aim of publicising the closeness between Serbia and Russia.
The timing of the visit coincides with the resumption of talks in Brussels on Serbia’s accession to the European Union and can clearly be considered as instrumental in exerting subtle diplomatic pressure aimed at convincing the European Union of the possibility that, in the event of a refusal, Serbia may decide to definitely turn its back on the West and ally with an East that is evidently more willing to treat the Serbs with the dignity and attention that a proud and tenacious people believes it deserves.
A piece of news confirming that Serbia is ready to turn its back on the West, should Europe continue to postpone the decision on its accession to the European Union is the fact that China has recently signed a partnership agreement with Serbia in the field of pharmaceutical research, an agreement that makes Serbia one of China’s current largest commercial partners on the European continent.
NATO’s Cypriot Trick
When the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact died, there was much speculation that NATO would consider itself redundant and either disappear or at least transmogrify into a less aggressive body.
Failing that, Moscow at least felt assured that NATO would not include Germany, let alone expand eastwards. Even the NATO Review, NATO’s PR organ, wrote self-apologetically twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin wall: “Thus, the debate about the enlargement of NATO evolved solely in the context of German reunification. In these negotiations Bonn and Washington managed to allay Soviet reservations about a reunited Germany remaining in NATO. This was achieved by generous financial aid, and by the ‘2+4 Treaty’ ruling out the stationing of foreign NATO forces on the territory of the former East Germany. However, it was also achieved through countless personal conversations in which Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders were assured that the West would not take advantage of the Soviet Union’s weakness and willingness to withdraw militarily from Central and Eastern Europe.”
Whatever the polemics about Russia’s claim that NATO broke its promises, the facts of what happened following the fall of the Berlin wall and the negotiations about German re-unification strongly demonstrate that Moscow felt cheated and that the NATO business and military machine, driven by a jingoistic Cold War Britain, a selfish U.S. military-industrial-congressional complex and an atavistic Russia-hating Poland, saw an opportunity to become a world policeman.
This helps to explain why, in contrast to Berlin, NATO decided to keep Nicosia as the world’s last divided city. For Cyprus is in fact NATO’s southernmost point, de facto. And to have resolved Cyprus’ problem by heeding UN resolutions and getting rid of all foreign forces and re-unifying the country would have meant that NATO would have ‘lost’ Cyprus: hardly helpful to the idea of making NATO the world policeman. Let us look a little more closely at the history behind this.
Following the Suez debacle in 1956, Britain had already moved its Middle East Headquarters from Aden to Cyprus, while the U.S. was taking over from the UK and France in the Middle East. Although, to some extent under U.S. pressure, Britain was forced to bring Makarios out of exile and begin negotiating with Greece and Turkey to give up its colony, the U.S. opted for a NATO solution. It would not do to have a truly sovereign Cyprus, but only one which accepted the existence of the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) as part and parcel of any settlement; and so it has remained, whatever the sophistic semantics about a bizonal settlement and a double-headed government. The set of twisted and oft-contradictory treaties that have bedevilled the island since 1960 are still afflicting the part-occupied island which has been a de facto NATO base since 1949. Let us look at some more history.
When Cyprus obtained its qualified independence in 1960, Greece and Turkey had already signed, on 11 February 1959, a so called ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’, agreeing that they would support Cyprus’ entry into NATO.1 This was, however, mere posture diplomacy, since Britain—and the U.S. for that matter—did not trust Cyprus, given the strength of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) and the latter’s links to Moscow. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) wrote: ‘Membership of NATO might make it easier for the Republic of Cyprus and possibly for the Greeks and Turks to cause political embarrassment should the United Kingdom wish to use the bases […] for national ends outside Cyprus […] The access of the Cypriot Government to NATO plans and documents would present a serious security risk, particularly in view of the strength of the Cypriot Communist Party. […] The Chiefs of Staff, therefore, feel most strongly that, from the military point of view, it would be a grave disadvantage to admit Cyprus to NATO.’2 In short, Cyprus was considered unreliable.
As is well known, the unworkable constitution (described as such by the Foreign Office and even by David Hannay, the Annan reunification plan’s PR man), resulted in chaos and civil strife: in January 1964, during the chaos caused by the Foreign Office’s help and encouragement to President Makarios to introduce a ‘thirteen point plan’ to solve Cyprus’ problems, British Prime Minister Douglas-Home told the Cabinet: ‘If the Turks invade or if we are seriously prevented from fulfilling our political role, we have made it quite clear that we will retire into base.’3 Put more simply, Britain had never had any intention of upholding the Treaty of Guarantee.
In July of the same year, the Foreign Office wrote: ‘The Americans have made it quite clear that there would be no question of using the 6th Fleet to prevent any possible Turkish invasion […] We have all along made it clear to the United Nations that we could not agree to UNFICYP’s being used for the purpose of repelling external intervention, and the standing orders to our troops outside UNFYCYP are to withdraw to the sovereign base areas immediately any such intervention takes place.’4
It was mainly thanks to Moscow and President Makarios that in 1964 a Turkish invasion and/or the island being divided between Greece and Turkey was prevented. Such a solution would have strengthened NATO, since Cyprus would no longer exist other than as a part of NATO members Greece and Turkey. Moscow had issued the following statement: ‘The Soviet Government hereby states that if there is an armed foreign invasion of Cypriot territory, the Soviet Union will help the Republic of Cyprus to defend its freedom and independence against foreign intervention.’5
Privately, Britain, realising the unworkability of the 1960 treaties, was embarrassed, and wished to relieve itself of the whole problem. The following gives us the backstage truth: ‘The bases and retained sites, and their usefulness to us, depend in large measure on Greek Cypriot co-operation and at least acquiescence. A ‘Guantanamo’6 position is out of the question. Their future therefore must depend on the extent to which we can retain Greek and/or Cypriot goodwill and counter USSR and UAR pressures. There seems little doubt, however, that in the long term, our sovereign rights in the SBA’s will be considered increasingly irksome by the Greek Cypriots and will be regarded as increasingly anachronistic by world public opinion.7
Following the Turkish invasion ten years later, Britain tried to give up its bases: ‘British strategic interests in Cyprus are now minimal. Cyprus has never figured in NATO strategy and our bases there have no direct NATO role. The strategic value of Cyprus to us has declined sharply since our virtual withdrawal from east of Suez. This will remain the case when the Suez Canal has reopened.8
A Cabinet paper concluded: ‘Our policy should continue to be one of complete withdrawal of our military presence on Cyprus as soon as feasible. […] In the circumstances I think that we should make the Americans aware of our growing difficulty in continuing to provide a military presence in Cyprus while sustaining our main contribution to NATO. […]9
Britain kept trying to give up the bases, but the enabler of the Turkish invasion, Henry Kissinger, did not allow Britain to give up its bases and listening posts, since that would have weakened NATO, and since Kissinger needed the bases because of the Arab-Israel dispute.10
Thus, by the end of 1980, in a private about-turn, Britain had completely succumbed to American pressure: ‘The benefits which we derive from the SBAs are of major significance and virtually irreplaceable. They are an essential contribution to the Anglo-American relationship. The Department have regularly considered with those concerned which circumstances in Cyprus are most conducive to our retaining unfettered use of our SBA facilities. On balance, the conclusion is that an early ‘solution’ might not help (since pressures against the SBAs might then build up), just as breakdown and return to strife would not, and that our interests are best served by continuing movement towards a solution – without the early prospect of arrival [author’s italics]11.
And so it is today: Cyprus is a de facto NATO territory. A truly independent, sovereign and united Cyprus is an anathema to the U.S. and Britain, since such a scenario would afford Russia the hypothetical opportunity to increase its influence in the Eastern Mediterranean.
From our partner RIAC
 Ministry of Defence paper JP (59) 163, I January 1960, BNA DEFE 13/99/MO/5/1/5, in Mallinson, William, Cyprus, a Modern History, I.B. Tauris (now Bloomsbury), London and New York, 2005, 2009, 2012, p.49.
 Memorandum by Prime Minister, 2 January 1964, BNA CAB/129/116, in ibid, Mallinson, William, p.37.
 British Embassy, Washington, to Foreign Office, 7 July 1964, telegram 8541, BNA FO 371/174766, file C1205/2/G, in ibid.’, Mallinson, William, p. 37.
 Joseph, Joseph S., Cyprus, Ethnic Conflict and International Politics, St Martin’s Press, London and New York, 1997, p. 66.
 In 1964, Cuba cut off supplies to the American base at Guantanamo Bay, since the US refused to return it to Cuba, as a result of which the US took measures to make it self-sufficient.
 Briefing paper, 18 June 1964, BNA-DO/220/170, file MED 193/105/2, part A. Mallinson,William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus, p. 127.
 ‘British Interests in the Eastern Mediterranean’, draft paper, 11 April 1975, BNA-FCO 46/1248, file DPI/515/1.
 Cabinet paper, 29 September 1976, in op. cit. Mallinson, William, Kissinger and the Invasion of Cyprus, p.134.
 Mallinson, William, Britain and Cyprus: Key Themes and Documents, I.B. Tauris, London and New York, 2011, and Bloomsbury, London and New York, 2020, pp. 87-121.
 Fergusson to Foreign Minister’s Private Secretary, minute, 8 December 1980, BNA-FCO 9/2949, file WSC/023/1, part C.
Belarus divorces from the Eastern Partnership: A new challenge for the EU Neighborhood Policy
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the Eastern dimension of the EU Neighborhood Policy adopted back in 2009 aimed at deepening relations between Brussels and six Eastern European partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The EaP has been regarded as a strategic initiative based on mutual interests and common values with a goal of strengthening political and economic relations with those countries, helping them enhance their institutional capacity through sustainable reforms. While increasing stability and paving the way for the sustainable development of those societies, the EU’s overall goal has been to secure its Eastern borders.
Since the very beginning the EaP has been suspiciously viewed by Russia as an attempt of expansion of the sphere of influence and as a first step of EU membership of these countries. Russians point to the EU and NATO ambitious expansion eastward as the main reason for complicated relations and in this context the EaP has been regarded with traditional fears and paranoic perceptions. The Russian hard power approach causes serious problems for the EaP which fails to mitigate security concerns of partner countries and to come up with serious initiatives for conflict settlement. Being a laggard in terms of soft power, the Russian ruling elite has continuously used all hard power foreign policy instruments at its disposal trying to undermine the coherence of the initiative. And the very recent démarche of Belarus to withdraw from the EaP should be seen in this context of confrontation.
On 28th of June, the ministry of foreign affairs of Belarus announced a decision to halt its membership in the EaP as a response to the EU sanctions imposed on Minsk accompanied by the recalling ambassadors from both sides. Actually, this isn’t the first case of the EaP walkout blackmailed by Lukashenko. The first escape was attempted in September-October 2011, but the difficulties were soon resolved and Lukashenko revised his decision. This time situation seems very complicated and these far-reaching tensions may have tough consequences for Lukashenko’s regime. This new group of sectoral sanctions which target banking, oil, telecommunication spheres and also ban the export of potash, is a harsh response from the EU against Lukashneko’s scandalous hijacking activity in May to detain a Belarusian opposition journalist and blogger Roman Protasevich.
Lukashenko’s administration not only challenges the EU Neighborhood Policy and shows no retreat, but also goes forward escalating the situation. Minsk takes high risks freezing the Readmission Agreement signed by the EU. This document is a legal basis for bilateral cooperation aimed at struggling against irregular migration flows. It’s not a secret that the territory of Belarus has been used for illegal migration for the groups from the Middle East to penetrate into neighboring EU member states such as Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. Moreover, Belarus territory has served as a transit route for smuggling circles going from East to West and vice versa. And now closing eyes on all these channels, Minsk hopes to increase the bargaining power vis-à-vis Brussels. However, given the Western reactions, it seems that this time the EU is resolute.
Despite the fact that Charles Michel, the President of the EU Council, described this withdrawal as “another step backwards” and even threatened that “this will escalate tensions having clear negative impacts”, the EU wants to continue working with the Belarusian society as Josep Borrel stated. The EU’s determination to keep the bridges alive with the Belarusian people, in spite of Lukashneko’s radical stance, is aimed at preventing further isolationism of Minsk which would benefit only Russia.
In contrast to the increasing level of tensions with the EU, the Russian authorities continue to support Lukasheno’s administration, thus trying to deepen the gap and to bring Belarus under their total influence. Russia uses Belarus in its chessboard with the EU and the USA in Eastern Europe. Last year’s fraud elections and brutal crackdown by Lukashenko left him alone with the only source of power stemming from the Kremlin. Thus the withdrawal from the EaP should be understood not only as a convulsion of the Belarusian authorities in response to the sanctions, but also Russia’s employment of the Belarus card to respond to the recent joint statement of the EU-US summit in Brussels, when both parties declared their intention to stand with the people of Belarus, supporting their demands for human rights and democracy simultaneously criticising Lukashenko’s regime and his reckless political behavior and also criticising Russian’s unacceptable behavior.
So, Lukashenko’s step to quit the EaP can be seen as a well-calculated adulatory sign towards Moscow sacrificing the last remnants of sovereignty in order to receive financial and political lifebuoy amid the increasing crisis in the result of sanctions. And the recent visit of N. Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, to Minsk right after the withdrawal decision shows Russian inclination to strike while the iron is hot and to abuse the vulnerable situation of Belarus. Patrushev stated that the ultimate goal of foreign powers is to change the power in Belarus and he suggested instead of focusing on internal issues, to bring their forces together against external threats as their influence affects internal developments. For this reason, deeper integration of security and military services of both countries are on the table.
The reaction of opposition leader S. Tikhanovskaya was very rough, stating that this suspension will cut the opportunities of ordinary citizens who benefit from the political and economic outcomes of the EaP. Moreover, she claims that Lukashenko doesn’t have a right to represent Belarus since August 2020 and his decisions don’t have legal consequences for Belarus. This kind of approach is shared by the leadership of Lithuania too, whose president and minister of foreign affairs not only refuse to recognize Lukashenko as a legitimate president, but also highlight the role of the Kremlin in supporting the dictatorial power of Lukashenko in exchange for decreasing sovereignty.
The blackmail of Lukashenko to challenge the EU Eastern Neighborhood Policy in order to have the sanctions lifted may bring about such kind of precedents with other partnering countries as well. First of all, this concerns Azerbaijan which continues to face serious problems related with human rights, freedom of expression, the problem of Prisoners of War and other traits of authoritarian power. It’s well-known that human rights issues have been the underwater stones in the EU and Azerbaijan relations and they continue to pose new challenges for Aliyev’s non-democratice regime. Another weak ring of the EaP chain is Armenia. Even though reelected N. Pashinyan is eager to pursue a balanced foreign policy, post-war Armenia still faces serious limitations given its vulnerable dependence on Russia. Besides, Pashinyan’s main rival and the former President R. Kocharyan, whose alliance will be the second largest faction in the newly elected Parliament has recently stated that this new parliament can last up to one and half years and nobody can exclude the possibility of new snap elections. His pro-Russian attitude and anti-Western stance are well-known and in case he becomes a prime-minister, there is no guarantee that he will follow the path of Lukashenko.
Therefore the statement of the Austrian MFA, that ”we cannot leave South Caucasus to others” during the recent official visit of the Austrian, Romanian and Latvian MFA under the mandate of the EU High Representative to the South Caucasus, reminds about the EU presence in the region and also the fact that the ‘normative power’ can be a source of balance and a status quo changer.
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