When will the tipping point occur, at which Russia and Cyprus are no longer coy about it? Russian and Cypriot envoys keep talking, and the local media keep suggesting it may happen. Now sources in Cyprus are saying the agreement has been made:
The Russian military will now be given full use of a Cypriot airbase and the main port at Limassol.
According to the Ministry of Defence in Nicosia the use of the Andreas Papandreou airbase will be only used for ‘emergency scenarios’ and humanitarian missions, but the move highlights growing co-operation between Russia and Cyprus.
The timing is certainly interesting, with the Admiral Kuznetsov carrier task group having just entered the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday. The carrier group is to be followed shortly by a second group, anchored by a Ropucha-class landing ship, the Olenegorskiy Gornyak. Will Admiral Kuznetsov visit Limassol during her deployment?
My bet is yes. And although the agreement for use of Andreas Papandreou airbase is “only for ‘emergency scenarios’ and humanitarian missions,” I assume that Kuznetsov’s air wing will be doing touch-and-goes there in short order, and will use the airfield for an alternate recovery site during flight operations in the Eastern Med.
What’s the EU doing while all this is going on? What it does best, of course: threatening Cyprus over renewable-energy regulation.
See the rest On the QT…