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Russia Sending Permanent Warship Fleet To Mediterranean: Is A Russian Naval Base In Cyprus Coming Next?

Tyler Durden's picture


That Russia has previously threatened, and followed through with, sending ships to the Mediterranean is nothing new. In the past, every such episode was related to the protection of what Putin considered vital geopolitical interests in the region: whether defending the Syrian port of Tartus, various crude and natural gas pipelines in the region threatened by NATO expansion in Turkey, or offsetting heightened US presence around Gaza and Israel (and of course Iran). Which is why with the legacy conflicts in the region dormant, and the only news of any relevance being the European intervention in Cyprus against Russian oligarch interests, it is surprising we learn today that the Russian Navy will dispatch a permanent fleet of five or six combat ships to the Mediterranean Sea, with frigates and cruisers making up the core of the fleet.

How far into the Mediterranean one wonders? It wouldn't be too difficult to put two and two together and assume that with Cyprus just a few hundreds kilometers away from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Israel, Russia may have not only a new geopolitical target, namely the now pseudo-insolvent Russian protectorate of Cyprus, but a perfect alibi to be in the region as well, and more importantly, have a Plan B to the Syrian port of Tartus which is Russia's only naval base in the region.

How soon until we read that Russia is willing to invest even more unguaranteed loans into the Cypriot financial system.... in exchange for one tiny little naval and/or military base?

From RT:

"Up to five or six ships must be on a permanent basis in the Mediterranean Sea. They should be controlled through the command of the Black Sea Fleet," Russian TV channel Zvezda quoted Admiral Chirkov as saying.


Supply vessels will also be included in the permanent deployment to the Mediterranean.


The decision to send Russian ships to the Mediterranean's waters was first announced on March 11 by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.


"I think that we have everything to create and maintain such a grouping. Certainly, this shows the positive dynamics of development of the Navy," Shoigu told top officers of the Russian Armed Forces. By 2020, the Russian Navy will include eight missile submarines, 16 multipurpose subs and 54 combat ships, he added.


Chirkov said that top Navy officers are currently in the process of strategizing the deployment of a combat group to the Mediterranean. He also said that Russia is prepared to send combat ships to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.


"There was an experience in the history of the Navy when we had squadrons in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Of course, if needed, we will [advise] the Defense Ministry's top officials, the government and the President [on the deployment of] task forces on a permanent basis there," Chirkov explained.

And an example of the kind of ship that will soon be floating in Cyprus' back yard:


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Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:18 | 3340374 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Easy to see this happening. US does the same thing with foreign bases and foreign aid

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:27 | 3340404 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

you want to bring your big boats here?


let's talk about what's fair.

leaving 90% of funds in accounts rewards persons (by which is meant corporations) that have a lot of wealth. that's not fair.

what's fair is this. leaving 50 thousand euros in every account.

that's fair.

now take your boats home.

did we say 50 thousand euros? shall we make it a mere 50?


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:04 | 3340515 Looney
Looney's picture

There’s some strange chatter of “…possible casualties of 220 souls, including 29 officers…” in the Russian oh-not-so-encrypted-communications in regard to the possible Cyprus aftermath.


It looks like Putin has already written off an Udaloy-class destroyer I ain't got no clue what that means... ;-) Looney
Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:33 | 3340790 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

The Russians are comin-let's get outa here!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:15 | 3340871 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

Yes they are....and the giddy ignorance and stupidity of the West has brought our coming catastrophic demise upon itself.  Russia is not the friend of Western Civilization and never has been.  We've been duped into collective suicide and those who "minus" me here are useful stooges cooperating gladly in their own collective subjugation and potential annihilation out of arrogance and pure Nickelodeon niavete.




Mon, 03/18/2013 - 00:59 | 3341198 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

While I enjoy your engaging enthusiasm for geopolitical speculations, it's hard to get a true picture of what's going on when you insist upon looking through the spyglass wrong way round!

The friendliness of Rus towards the putative "western civilization* of this moment is is not wise to show  too much friendliness to a dangling tarantula, or poised python....wariness is the preferential mode.

Quoting Bolshevik hirelings from better than half a century ago is also not the preferred way of getting you point to hit home...the toing and froing of power balances in the former USSR has long since obligated the observer to replace the style of spectacles used to examine Russain realities.

Although Golitsyns' warnings to the "west" were not inaccurate of themselves, his perpective was that of an ant in a room of elephants...the "Soviet" experiment was a design and operation of the same banking\munitions cartel which runs the phony capitalist cartel you falsely call 'western civilization' today. All roads lead back to Canaris, Gelhen, and DVD...the Dachau based nexus through which the rabbit hole further follows to the spiders' nest...Ashkenazi 'cold warriors' with a genetic hatred for all of our peoples, and a master plan for their induced destruction...

don't worry about your vote count padre tio, your real problem is those of us who know just how thin is the ice upon which your idea of the real enemy skates...

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 05:45 | 3341515 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Looks like we are the loser once again.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 17:00 | 3344422 msamour
msamour's picture

Dude, lighten up man!

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 08:00 | 3341702 Archduke
Archduke's picture

1) Cyprus has been an offshore haven and laundering nexus for years.

2) enormous reserves of oil & gas were discovered there last year.

These two factors, plus Russian Turkish interests and the potential
for geopolitical leverage make it a great target for resource grab.

Europe is clutching to reclaim all the offshored assets looted in the last decades and delinquant but asset-rich Cyprus makes good repo sense.

True to form the IMF's preferred method is through debt, while the Ruskies
stick to proven gunboat diplomacy.

Imho, Turkey, strangely absent so far, stands the most to lose its claim.
A negotiated settlement seems less and less likely with Syrian support no longer on the table.

Continental European interests, ie Total, also stand to lose a geat deal, so expect some kind of agreement, to the benefit of core euro states in majority, russian turkish oil and gas minority, all to the detriment of profligate greece and meddling anglo-saxons.

malta, gibraltar, next?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:57 | 3340862 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

"I follow the Moskva
Down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change...
An August summer night,
Soldiers passing by,
Listening to the wind of change...

The world is closing in
Did you ever think,
That we could be so close, like brothers...
The future's in the air
I can feel it everywhere,
Blowing with the wind of change..."


Take me to the magic of the moment on a gloorrrrrrrry niiight, where the children of tomorrow share their dreams - With you and me. Take me to the magic of the moment on a glorrrrrry niiiiight, where the children of tomorrow dream away... In the wind of change...

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 01:32 | 3341242 JOYFUL
JOYFUL's picture

Ability of Ruskie sailors to splash in ZATO's southern lake  hinges upon the co-operation of the neo-Ottomans in Ankara.The Turks, of course, would like nothing so much as to see the crash n burn of the Greek side of their disputed toehold into Europe - the implacable oppenents to their accession into Eurodom.

Failure of that Coalition of the Killing to proffer the promised rewards for Erodogan's imbelicic insistence on importing phony jihadists into Syria has left the field upon which the chess pieces drift open for new moves from the East. Now that Iran increasingly props up Turkish balance of payments with it's golden trade, the lure of oil n gas alliances grows ever stronger...

but it's still the mandate of the tiny terrorist statelet in the ME sandbox to call the shots on what happen in Cyprus and the rest of it's European satrapies...their nuclear blackmail and bribery of politicians have the juice stilll...untll the demise of their Merikan satrapy.

At which point, the Bosphorus becomes the gateway of neo-Byzantium back into the field of Empire.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:32 | 3340420 lotusblue
lotusblue's picture

No Way Jose Never going to happen-A Russian base on Cyprus! Russian have extended lease agreement for Tartus base in Syria.

This just another article to try and get adrenelin into your gold loving veins.

Take your shorts profits while they last before Ben sends in the clowns.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:50 | 3340659 Mactheknife
Mactheknife's picture

Maybe they're just  going to get their money back... don't Russian mobsters run the government?




Mon, 03/18/2013 - 09:44 | 3342026 Chupacabra-322
Chupacabra-322's picture


but that doesn't change the fact of the Russian Mafia not being liked stolen from much less following any NWO Banksters for that matter.

I might add on the Western Front the Global Criminal Cabal (Intelligence/Bankster) Crime Syndicate are about to John Corzine the whole world. Cornzine was just the warm up just to see how much the Criminals could get away with.   

Could this be the future as to why FBI and other alphabet agencies want access to every ones bank account here in Amerika?

A case, forget which one has already been ruled in US Courts about raiding Customer's Segregated Accounts under the guise of wide spread durress.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:54 | 3340660 Mactheknife
Mactheknife's picture

Fat finger...e-mini down 20.




Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:18 | 3340375 Thomas
Thomas's picture

Nice touch.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:25 | 3340377 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

That would discourage a 40% levy on Cypriot deposits, the figure that Merkel wanted.

Besides, Cyprus has all those gas deposits:

Cyprus's energy chief, Solon Kassinis, declared this month that there are indications of natural gas deposits in the island's waters of some 10 trillion cubic feet near Israel's giant Tamar and Leviathan gas fields

The deposits are worth $80 billion or about $70,000 per Cypriot citizen.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:40 | 3340427 Element
Element's picture

Seems to me the Russians can see several opportunities here. It also gives Cyprus options and leverage against the EU-IMF-Bankster gun to the head routine. Perhaps the locals will standup to the EU with a little more gusto. The Greeks as well, as they have a lot of advanced Russian Arms (and Greeks generally much prefer Russians to the PAX-USA alternative).

Having the SE Eurozone strategically unzipper would be something of a strategic black-swan for Europe, and they would avoid it. i.e. they could be induced to negotiate defaults to maintain strategic cohesian.

Result: European power gets attrited.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:58 | 3340469 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Europe cannot affords wars.  It has unpayable debt.  When you have such large debts and an aging population, you cannot afford expensive military confrontations.  Without unlimited printed enables by fiat money, US could never have afforded the Iraq war which cost lot more than the Vietnam war which forced the US off the gold standard.

Many are the evils that are enabled by fiat currency - bubbles (stock and real estate, for example) and expensive wars and unpayable debt being the prime evils. And 30,000 drones to spy on your own people which will cost a trillion over 20 years.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:51 | 3340475 Lore
Lore's picture

Every scenario sees an end to the Euro.  The sooner, the less complicated.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:32 | 3340612 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Yeah, it’s hard to keep up with the headlines these days. You better get that old “Deer In The Headlight” picture dusted off because you’re going to need it soon it looks like….. 

I just hope that I’m vaporized in a million degree nuclear fireball instantaneously and never have known what hit me …. Better yet, break out the popcorn, I want to enjoy this.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 00:54 | 3341195 lewy14
lewy14's picture

Well... if the Western Roman Empire is going to reassemble... then why not the Eastern?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:37 | 3340627 Argos
Argos's picture

Yeah, and when was the last time a citizen saw a profit from their countries natural resources?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:19 | 3340381 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Their on a "peace seeking mission."

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:29 | 3340411 radwon
radwon's picture

Did you mean to say "piece seeking mission."?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:50 | 3340471 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:20 | 3340385 Element
Element's picture

I doubt Greece would object much.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:32 | 3340611 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

what about all of those fancy new U-boats that the Germans keep selling the Greeks on credit?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:19 | 3340943 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

The ones they tried to turn back on technical grounds, but were forced to take (plus some french frigates) as part of the bailout deal?

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 02:15 | 3341288 Element
Element's picture

The Germans know their strategic calculus must override finance and debts of Greece. Selling them subs and making them captive to parts and servicing contracts is a method used to secure their part in that calculus. Have a look at their order-of-battle and you'll see the Russians have also been busy selling advanced weapons to Greece. Greece is one of those few countries that has both very advanced western and eastern hardware, and in surprising abundance. The strategic calculus is why they were ever permitted into the Euro (in my view), and their outrageous spending habits and corruption were winked-at for so long.

Greece knows it's own stabeeleetee is vital to the interests of Central European power's security, in any major military confrontation situation so they use that to good effect to extract loans and concessions. It almost looks like blackmail sometimes. But Greece is a fact of life for Germany, so they sells them their subs on credit. Credit which they obvously can't afford to repay. Germany knows that.

It's a strategic inducement to keep playing within the NATO-Eurozone's ... umm ... Axis-Powers arrangement. It's not as if Germany has much choice but to hold their noses and give them the subs.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:20 | 3340386 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

One of those now many 'things that make you go hmmmmm' sunday evening events

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:21 | 3340390 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:21 | 3340391 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

Da, we can.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:28 | 3340408 knukles
knukles's picture

Da ve did.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:40 | 3340445 The Shootist
The Shootist's picture

Hiroshi... hiroshi.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:15 | 3340554 wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

Pooti-Poot is no fool!

Can't say the same for the Euroweenies!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:22 | 3340395 Racer
Racer's picture

Ooops, the banksters greed got that bit tooooo much

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:55 | 3340483 NoClueSneaker
NoClueSneaker's picture

Small island, nuke impact ...

Hope and change, indeed ....


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:27 | 3340399 beaker
beaker's picture


If these banks ever had a time to keep a disaster under control, this is it. “Everyone execute Plan X.  Suppress your sovereign markets – NOW”


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:26 | 3340400 EndTheMedia
EndTheMedia's picture

Start of the prophecy?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:06 | 3340520 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Why do you find this stuff?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:43 | 3340820 palmereldritch
palmereldritch's picture


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:28 | 3340407 km4
Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:30 | 3340413 EclecticParrot
EclecticParrot's picture

In keeping with a uniquely Russian sense of humor and brusque, post-adolescent whimsy, he's merely building a scale model of the game "Battleship."

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:30 | 3340414 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

The board is being set and another pawn is set in place.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:46 | 3340647 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Hey, Doc, where you been all day?  It's been a non-stop around here since 6am!  Busy day.  Welcome to the party.

Yeah, this one's got legs (the Cyprus thing).  Pieces are moving all over the board compared to a normally a sleepy Sunday.  Gotta love the Russians- they KNOW HOW TO PLAY CHESS!  They like bold moves and this one definitely qualifies.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:29 | 3340780 fudge
fudge's picture

makes one wonder about the 'exercises' involving recent missile movements.


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:31 | 3340415 smacker
smacker's picture

"Is A Russian Naval Base In Cyprus Coming Next?"


IMHO: Yes. From a Russian pov it would make sense and Cyprus needs the money. Not sure how they'll get along with the British bases already on the island.....

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:43 | 3340452 Element
Element's picture

If the US can be in Cuba, Russia can be in Cyprus, the Brits would just have to suck it up.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:22 | 3340954 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

Can be positioned on the Northern part of the island, near Polis, though still on the Greek-Cypriot side. :)

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 00:50 | 3341189 Navymugsy
Navymugsy's picture

A deepwater port in Limassol for the Russkies and they can keep an eye (and ear) on the RAF base at Akrotiri. Everybody's a winner!

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 02:45 | 3341321 Element
Element's picture

Did everyone notice Georgia has now formally realized the Russians are resurgent, in a rapid arms build-up, while Europe and US are becoming sick-men, so they just changed their strategic and diplomatic stance.

So things are changing fast, now factor-in the Afghan "pull-out" (what a phrase), and the "Pivot to Asia" (which is slightly better than a Domino-Theory I suppose) and the Russian fleets are just slotting back into their former forwards positions (and if they had been there three years ago Libya would probably not have been pounded to rubble, primarily by all three Western Nuclear Powers). It remains to be seen if having them there will settle the region down but I'm at least confident they're not going to be constantly looking to start a war ... like you know who.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:33 | 3340423 Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

It appears that Putin is a patient guy. He's being waiting for some opportunity. So now, here we go.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:54 | 3340433 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

You take our money,  we take your land. Now that's what I call an EFP, fiat money Exchange For Physical transaction.

I wonder about the certainty of those recent transactions where some rich investors from the UAE bought themselves a few Greek Islands. Suddenly,  the Burj Tower isn't looking like such a bad investment after all.


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:38 | 3340437 ArrestBobRubin
ArrestBobRubin's picture

hmmm.... and with Tel Aviv just a short nuke lob away. Saaaaweeet.

Go Russia!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:48 | 3340454 Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:47 | 3340463 Mr. Hudson
Mr. Hudson's picture

I'd like to see Israel pull on the Russians the same attack they pulled on the USS Liberty.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:42 | 3340640 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

fuck you and your anti-semitism....i'd like to see a nuke lobbed up your ass and see you fry in a gas chamber, cunt.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:58 | 3341058 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

What anti-semitism? He didn't even mentioned the Arabs.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:38 | 3340438 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Looks like a game of RISK is about to begin.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:40 | 3340444 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Go long Western Australia real estate.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:18 | 3340567 Likstane
Likstane's picture

right...and stay away from Ukraine!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:00 | 3340886 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

That's a trick suggestion-question!

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 02:49 | 3341328 Element
Element's picture

He's referring to newspaper claims today that WA-RE is headed for new record highs this year.

I would not bet on it being so

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:39 | 3340440 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

Cyprus sells a base to the Russkies and they can kiss an EU bailout goodbye.  IIRC, the port at Tartus isn't big enough for modern naval vessels anyway (it was essentially abandoned from 1991-2008).

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:50 | 3340467 Element
Element's picture

Hey let's get real, they're going to default anyway, it's baked-in (same for Greece). This way the bankers may not get to steal all their deposits ... EXCEPT ... thanks to the EU their banks are now kaput thus the deposits severely impaired, so there's plenty of seething anti-Brussels and anti-German hatred and resentment to come from that.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:00 | 3340494 NoClueSneaker
NoClueSneaker's picture

Who fuckin' cares ... 14 Bn. of €uro fiat against rubl in gold + a nice base to prevent a grab of an gas/oil field ... hard choices ...

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:39 | 3340441 WallowaMountainMan
WallowaMountainMan's picture

"How soon until we read that Russia is willing to invest even more unguaranteed loans into the Cypriot financial system.... in exchange for one tiny little naval and/or military base?"


ummm, my guess only until after nato freezes over.

and the slow missle system is deployed.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:45 | 3340460 Tulpa
Tulpa's picture

The official Cyprus govt only controls 2/3 of the island, the rest being under the control of a Turkey-backed govt which the rest of NATO has been kind enough not to recognize.  I don't Cyprus is in a position to play chicken with NATO.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:51 | 3340474 Element
Element's picture

Nor was Iceland.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 05:20 | 3341340 Element
Element's picture


Read the first fricken paragraph:

"The future of Turkish-Russian ties, a successful example of Turkey’s recent strategy of “zero problems with neighbors,” is extremely bright."

That would include Syria, and Iran, right? What laughable hypocritical poop that is. Just look that the past 6-months of increasing tensions with both of them. Iran went so far a couple of months ago to say that, "Turkey will pay a price" for its recent aggressive actions against Syria, and against Iranian Interests. They were almost threatening war, whilst Turkey has been constantly threatening to bomb Syria!

"Zero problems with neighbours" huh? Pure lies and rank propaganda.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:50 | 3340468 j8h9
j8h9's picture

The decision to send Russian ships to the Mediterranean's waters was first announced on March 11 by Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:51 | 3340473 luna_man
luna_man's picture



OH, BOY!!...I don't think "markets" will be Boring tomorrow!



Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:53 | 3340476 thatthingcanfly
thatthingcanfly's picture

Am I the only one who thinks it's funny the Russians have an Admiral named Chirkov?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:56 | 3340486 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I did not notice it till you just said that, now I can't stop laughing.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:21 | 3340578 grunk
grunk's picture

He's got everything in hand.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 20:56 | 3340485 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

This was news... 2 weeks ago when they first proposed setting it up.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:02 | 3340508 G_T_A_44
G_T_A_44's picture

Cyprus- Dubai- Cayman Islands- First Merchant- Weapons- Narco smuggling- Money Laundering- NATO- Op. Gladio.etc....On and On and On.



Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:09 | 3340528 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

Don't forget hand jobs. Sex is part of that list.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:03 | 3340509 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Russian drone attack against the banksters coming. China next in line. Argentina ought to make a good customer for drone tech. Here come the robots.

Boy those banksters sure are stupid.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:04 | 3340516 grunk
grunk's picture

Just stopping by to check their bank balances.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:10 | 3340524 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

Nothing at all new here. The USSR kept a much larger force of warships in the Med. Now that Russia is recovering some economic and military strength, it is only natural that they begin to station Russian naval assets in the Med again.

With NATO attacking nations at will and supporting terrorists in several nations, it seems that Russia needs to send some forces to support their friends in the region.

Syria and Tartus are natural places for the Russian Navy to act in defense of. I would not read too much into this. Perhaps if China was postioning permamnent naval forces in the Med. then it would be more of a story.

NATO is pretty unhappy at present. Their conquest of Syria has been stopped in it's tracks by the rump of the Syrian army, and Russian and Iranian support is the main reason that Syria's government can hold out. Weapons and money flow into Syria from Iran, allied Shia fighters from lebanon, Iraq and Iran are also beginning to strenghten Syria's defense. Even as the Gulf Sunni States send fighters and weapons. WHile NATO maintains bases for Al-Qaeda in Turkey and now Jordan. From there they can move on and off the battle fields of Syria.

The sides are digging in for a long proxy war. Syria is unlikely to fall as long as Russia and Iran keep the arms and money flowing, their diplomatic support in the UN is also vital in preventing UN resolutions allowing a NATO invasion. Russian manned Air Defense Systems in Syria and Russian manned state of the art mobile surface to surface missiles in Syria also act as a gurantee against a NATO air war or invasion.

None of this is going according to NATO plans. Russia was supposed to back down and surrender Syria when NATO demanded it. Now we see Russia and Iran both upping support to Assad rather than handing over the nation to NATO as the NATO command expected. One would like to know what is said in the halls of NATO command now-a-days. They never expected that two year into the proxy war that Assad and the Syrian Army would still be viable military forces.

This could go on for years!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:14 | 3340738 fudge
fudge's picture

Perhaps if China was postioning permamnent naval forces in the Med. then it would be more of a story.

China is working on the Persian Gulf , it's the other half of this story.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:20 | 3340757 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Long military enrollment in Cyprus, Greece... given their U6 rates. I even know of people in Germany, whose kids are doing this.

Even in the US, this is a good time for unemployed youth to sign up, as the US is winding downs major wars. By the time the next one comes along, the theory/hope is that they have enough seniority that they'd be safely away from the fighting.

Sometimes, timing is everything.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 03:15 | 3341358 Element
Element's picture

Spot on.

But not-loosing is not enough, at some point Damascus will realize that it needs to move the fight to Israel, to get a much bigger battle going in Israel itself, to bring about a big power political resolution across the whole region. Iran will conclude same.

Russia will be key in making that settlement stick, because the US has totally shit the bed.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:14 | 3340548 bilejones
bilejones's picture

I think the Cyprus theft pretty much cements the Turkish realignment toward the SCO and away from the EU.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:23 | 3340586 PMakoi
PMakoi's picture

Oil, oil, oil.  Putin wants this.  Israel wants this.  The U.S. wants this.

Two years ago, in June 2010, the Leviathan, the largest gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean that stretches from Egypt to Syria was discovered by Houston Texas based Noble Energy. The natural gas reserves in that find that are in Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territorial waters are estimated to be something in the range of 25 trillion cubic feet (Tcf). Some experts are estimating that there might also be up to 600 million barrels of oil. And that is not all. Preliminary exploration has confirmed similarly impressive reserves of gas and oil in the waters off Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Syria.


That discovery is now causing enormous political, geopolitical as well as economic consequences. It the whole reason why Israel also has mercenaries and Mossad killing squads in Syria.


The Leviathan gas field is the reason why the US orchestrated the political uprising in Egypt and the political coup in Greece.


In December 2010, when it seemed the Greek crisis might be resolved without the huge bailouts or privatizations, Greece’s Energy Ministry formed a special group of experts to research the prospects for oil and gas in Greek waters. Greece’s Energean Oil & Gas began increased investment into drilling in the offshore waters after a successful smaller oil discovery in 2009. Major geological surveys were made. Preliminary estimates now are that total offshore oil in Greek waters exceeds 22 billion barrels in the Ionian Sea off western Greece and some 4 billion barrels in the northern Aegean Sea.


According to one Greek analyst, Aristotle Vassilakis, “surveys already done that have measured the amount of natural gas estimate it to reach some nine trillion dollars.” Even if only a fraction of that is available, it would has transformed the finances of Greece and the entire region. It would have made the whole region independent of the interest bearing loan sharks from the World Bank and the IMF.


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:00 | 3340686 epwpixieq-1
epwpixieq-1's picture

"there might also be up to 600 million barrels of oil" - you must be joking, hardly anything to notice. Although, if truly noticeable it can give you some idea to what point we have reached, if people are willing to quarrel over a field, having at maximum7 days of the world oil consumption ( and most likely even not recoverable more than 50% ) . Truly epic.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:34 | 3340793 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Cypriot, Greek, Syrian and Russian currency backed by energy and PM?

Funny, but the United Federation of Planets (and our Starfleet) is also based on energy (dilithium crystals) and PM (Latinum).

Fight the Future!? Sure, but which one: fiat or real currency?

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:32 | 3340615 booboo
booboo's picture

Global chess much like the board game is like watching paint dry, even worse since there is no time clock, wake me up when someone yells "CHECKMATE!!" until then I got chickens to tend to and a garden to weed, a full weeks worth of work ahead and we all know how long it takes to fire up a good old World War.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 04:54 | 3341458 Element
Element's picture

What makes you think its all about war? Diplomacy and economics for resource and trade influence is to obtain the wants of elites, and needs of drones. A fleet opens all sorts of doors, without firing a shot.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:38 | 3340631 Edward Fiatski
Edward Fiatski's picture

I, for one, would welcome the Russian maritime base on Cyprus; the Bri'ish can go home. :)

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:43 | 3340642 marcusfenix
marcusfenix's picture

the plot thickens-

first the US makes the almost overnight decision to scrap one entire phase of it's missile shield in Europe and moves the interceptors to Alaska under the guise of countering North Korea, which of course is a load of bullshit. more likely it is intended to stake a claim on all that Arctic oil and natural gas.

now Russia plants a sizable amount of naval power right in the middle of what is quickly becoming the most militarized area on the face of the Earth. meanwhile the whole of Europe seems to be teetering on the edge of the falls, and for whatever reason everything that the eurocrat banksters have said and done over the last two days seems to have the intention of making sure the whole thing goes over.

yeah, I might just have to take a few days off this week, I have a feeling the curtain is about to fall...

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:45 | 3340822 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

'Arctic' oil? You mean 'Canadian' oil. That you, Baghdad Bob? ;-)

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 05:16 | 3341476 Element
Element's picture

I fail to see how a few mid-course interceptors in an anti-ICBM system provides cover for a ... um ... er ... purportedly Canadian resources grab. It's one part of a three tiered defense. SM3 missiles on destroyers for boost-phase kills, then mid-course kills over the north pacific and polar region, and then THAAD missile system for terminal phase kill.

If you wanted a resource grab you'd use entirely different weapons. But even then the Russians can put a nuke on a torpedo or in a sea mine. It's not as if the US has any hope of ever successfully stopping an actual Russian attack or counter attack, so why the hell would they risk direct combat, when they can make a negotiated agreement? Such territorial boundaries are fairly well defined already.

The last guy who thought it would be a piece of cake to take a chunk of Russia shot himself just before the Russians kicked his front door down in his own capital. If it were that easy Japan would taken Sakhalin Island by now.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:44 | 3340645 SillySalesmanQu...
SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

This is simply called "protecting your interests".

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:50 | 3340658 kindape
kindape's picture

cyprus - the Archduke Ferdinand 100 years later...

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 21:54 | 3340668 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Underwater missles are better than ones that fly in the air.


I just sunk your supercarrier...

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:11 | 3340727 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

Sinclair - One Of The Most Important Events In History & Gold
"“The wire reports on the Cyprus situation are working overtime to try to make the case that 80% of the deposits belong to the people of Cyprus, and only 20% of the deposits belong to the Russians. That’s absolutely false. After 1985, when the ‘Robber Barrons’ of Russia took over the general economics of Russia, that was the transformation from the KGB to private business. The primary place for exported Russian funds was Cyprus.

Now, there is one leader in the world that would be very dangerous to challenge and that is Putin of Russia...."

Effin with the Russian mob, or not, someones paying..
Im not buying any canned tuna in olive oil from meditaranean area for awhile..
Horse meat will be welcomed compared to Soylent Tuna

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 16:41 | 3344345 Tursas
Tursas's picture

Remember who was advising them?  I do!  There one positive in this: Russia is not so strong than it looks but don't ever make the mistace of underestimating their strength either!

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:16 | 3340746 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Of course the Russians may need to pay their sailors make up for the ECB wealth confiscation!!!


Cyprus bank levy: UK to compensate troops and government workers


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 22:56 | 3340867 neutrinoman
neutrinoman's picture

Russia is finished as a great power -- stuff like this shouldn't be taken seriously. Assad is on his way out; the factor keeping him in power is Iran amd its proxies, not Russia.

Russia is concerned because of the oligarchs and mafiosi who have their money in Cypriot banks. (Putin's Russia is a mafia state currently putting a dead man on trial.) What happened in Cyprus is that the Germans are reacting strongly against bailing out dubious money laundering and kleptocracy. Germany is getting more assertive vis-a-vis Russia, taking the place of US assertiveness, because the Empty Suit in the Whore House is busy golfing.

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:16 | 3340932 fudge
fudge's picture

'Russia is finished as a great power'

I've read some shit in my time , but this ? fucking LoL


Mon, 03/18/2013 - 16:37 | 3344325 Tursas
Tursas's picture


Sun, 03/17/2013 - 23:03 | 3340895 titty sprinkles
titty sprinkles's picture

Buckle up kids, tomorrows gonna be "FUN"

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 05:48 | 3341519 negative rates
negative rates's picture

Look at that future frustration!

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 00:23 | 3341137 Seize Mars
Seize Mars's picture

Seize Mars enjoys thinking about the Great Game. But he is not, not even for a second, believing that this place is a "hot spot."

It just isn't.

It's another red herring in a world full of them (kept alive in case they are needed for later, such as North Korea, Senkaku Islands, et cetera).

If you start subscribing to the idea that "nothing happens that is by mistake," the Russian lurkers in the Mediterranean are really just following the script. Like the DHS workers walking in circles at the Newtown massacre. (No shit, google it.)

The real game - the one with the uncertain outcome - is being played elsewhere.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 01:09 | 3341220 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Holy cow! This made FOX news. So did the Hoff.

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 03:27 | 3341382 etresoi
etresoi's picture

The myopic eurocrats have lost the big picture, as usual.

Cyprus has a viable option of leaving the EU, dropping the euro and aligning with Russia.

Russia can afford to support Cyprus, can develop the gas fields at a substantial profit and as a bonus, gets a strategic deep seaport.


Game, set, and match !

Mon, 03/18/2013 - 16:35 | 3344316 Tursas
Tursas's picture


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