Following the announcement by the Russian embassy in Athens that Moscow recognises Greece’s legal right under International Law to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles, the information of Lavrov’s visit to our country came.
The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov, is expected to pay a specific visit to Athens on 26 October, according to a report in Kathimerini.
The reason for his visit is that Greece will have until November the presidency of the Council of Europe, an international organisation in which Russia also participates.
The timing of Lavrov’s visit, however, is considered to be highly symbolic as the tension on the Greek-Turkish relations front adds extra weight to it. Moscow’s move, after all, is far from irrelevant to what is happening in our wider region. It is obvious that to some extent the Russian side is unprintably linking, but essentially, its relations with Ankara and Athens. The communication on Greek territorial waters and lavrov’s visit are therefore part of the narrow framework of bilateral relations, but at the same time they are also an indirect but clear message to Tayyip Erdogan.
The only reason Moscow and Ankara maintain close relations is that Russia, through its rapprochement with Turkey, is causing a rift in NATO, as well as a counterbalance to the encircling of the Russian Federation by Poland and Ukraine with the help of the Atlantic alliance. Vladimir Putin is making compromises with his Turkish counterpart on individual local fronts in order to keep open the rift in Turkey’s relations with the West and thus reduce the pressure on the US and Europe in various ways.
On the other hand, Tayyip Erdogan also needs Russia to balance American pressure to return to order, but also to abandon the S-400s.
It is no coincidence that in an interview on Russian radio, Lavrov said that Russia “never considered Turkey a strategic ally, but a strategic partner, a relationship that is of strategic importance in many respects”.