There is a new fear among the spokesmen of the British Empire, that not only could Greece default on its debt and thereby bring on financial Armageddon, but that Greece will "turn eastwards" towards Russia and China.
London's Financial Times correspondent Tony Barber writes on June 14 that the European debt crisis has a "geopolitical" side, which is the fear that putting tremendous pressure on Greece is "realigning the nation's political forces in such a way as to place a question mark over Greece's desire and ability to remain committed member of the Euro-Atlantic community." Barber points out that both left-wing Syriza and the center-right New Democracy have their connections to Russia, and that New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras went to Moscow last January. He writes that both raise "concern" in the European Union and NATO, because they have "interest in warmer ties with Russia and, to a lesser extent, China."
Russia supplies Greece with the majority of its oil and gas, says Barber, noting that Greece and Russia share the Orthodox religion. He also points to fact that the Left in Greece has historically been critical of NATO and the West.
The same applies to Cyprus, whose President is the leader of the country's Communist Party. In fact, in a separate but not unrelated development, Cyprus is reported to be in negotiations with Russia for a new loan for as much as EU4 billion to recapitalize its banks. Deputy Europe Minister Andreas Mavroyiannis said during a visit to Ireland, that while no decision had been taken about how to bail out the island's banking system, Cyprus could get help from Russia, China, or both, and that their aid could even be mixed with European funds. "It can be a combination" of bilateral and European money, he said. "Whatever it is, it will have a part of European— money or conditionality. I don't know if it will be Russia or China."
Last week, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, made an official visit to Cyprus, where he met with his counterpart, Primate of the Cypriot Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos I, and other religious leaders, as well as Cypriot President Demetris Christofias. During the visit, they also discussed the highly political issue of the division of Cyprus, whose northern half is occupied by Turkish troops. Addressing the Russian Patriarch, Chrysostomos said Cyprus is looking forward to Russia's support for the restoration of justice in Cyprus, adding that "we will never compromise with injustice, no matter how much time passes." For his part, Kirill expressed the desire that "the Lord will offer the much-awaited peace, restore the united state of Cyprus, and give back to the Cypriot Church the churches which for the time being are inaccessible."
In a move that was considered highly symbolic and representing the deepening of ties between the two Churches, Kirill was given relics of St. Lazarus, one of the most important saints of Cyprus, which will be placed in a monastery in Moscow.