21st Century Wire says…
As the war talk increases against Syria, and the geopolitical chessboard becomes ever more active in the Middle East, Russia’s only naval facility outside of the former Soviet Union located in the port of Tartus in Syria has become the focus of speculation by the western media this week.
Western media reports of a snap Russian evacuation of military and citizens out of Syria yesterday were denied by Russia’s military:
“Russia’s military Thursday denied media reports that personnel had been withdrawn from its naval maintenance and supply facility in Syria, Russian news agencies reported. The daily Vedomosti Wednesday cited an unidentified source as saying that neither servicemen nor civilian Defense Ministry personnel were currently stationed at the naval facility in the Syrian port of Tartous.
But the Defense Ministry press service said the modestly sized and equipped facility had long since been manned by civilians and that they had not been withdrawn.
“These personnel continue to work in the usual regimen. And there is no talk of evacuating them,” state-run news agency RIA quoted the Defense Ministry’s press service as saying…”
What this western media PR flare managed to cover-up was another announcement which may in fact be much more significant in terms of the balance of power in the region, as Cyprus announces that Russia may begin moving into bases on Cyprus later this year. This move would not only give Russia a footprint in the EU, but it would also give them a strategic base adjacent to both US and British assets on the island…
Russia’s Military Move onto Cyprus
Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the defense cooperation agreement that is being drafted might allow Russia to use the Andreas Papandreou airbase in Paphos, VoR reported.
The agreement being drafted will extend beyond the existing understandings to allow Russian ships to dock at Limassol, Kasoulides said in an interview with Voice of Russia radio station, commenting on media reports that Cyprus was ready to allow the Russian air force to use the airbase in Paphos.
IMAGE: Russia plans to utilise Cyprus bases for Navy, and Airforce.
The relevant technical details will be considered by a committee of representatives of the two countries, which is to start working soon, Kasoulides said.
Kasoulides said the Russian-Cypriot agreement on defense cooperation and on use of military infrastructure might be among the agreements to be signed during the visit by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to Moscow in the coming months.
READ MORE CYPRUS NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Cyprus Files