Interview to Evangelos D. Kokkinos
"Britain and the US have always tried to keep Germany and Europe away from Russia, and this outdated geopolitical and imperialistic policy is now coming to a deadly climax", says Dr. William Mallinson*, professor of Political Ideas and Institutions at the Guglielmo Marconi University, member of the editorial board of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies and former British diplomat, in an exclusive interview with Pentapostagma.
"Britain has always supported Turkey, as a buffer against Russia, as a way to hang onto its military bases in Cyprus, and to use Cyprus with the USA as a de facto NATO base", he said, regarding the developed defense relations between Turkey and Great Britain, while he also referred extensively to the background of the construction of the Turkish TF-X fighter aircraft.
"America’s nightmare would be good relations between Greece and Turkey, with a resolution of the Aegean dispute"
As pointed out by Dr. Mallinson, the most likely developments regarding the Turkey-Libya memorandum, the "Blue Homeland" and the Cyprus issue are, "continuing destabilisation for the foreseeable future, while the world focuses on Ukraine". "As US power in the Eastern Mediterranean decreases, Russia is likely to play a more dominant role in Greece-Turkish relations, with the eventual aim of weakening NATO".
Analyzing the possibility of revival of the pharaonic EastMed energy project, Dr. Mallinson believes that the project is likely to be canceled and replaced with an energy connection between Egypt and Greece, and adds that, "the US needs Turkey even more than Greece, and the US withdrawal of support for the pipeline has pleased Turkey, to Greece’s irritation".
Commenting on Serbia's alleged "pro-Western" turn, the experienced British professor and diplomat clarifies that "Serbia’s relations with Russia are stronger than with the EU", and likens Camp Bondsteel, the largest American base in the Balkans, to a replica of Guantanamo.
Evaluating the possibility of a nuclear conflict or the use of other Weapons of Mass Destruction on the occasion of the war in Ukraine, he believes that if Crimea is threatened, then Russia may consider using depleted uranium missiles against western Ukraine. "Russia is more likely to use some of its most powerful thermobaric weapons, which it has not yet resorted to", he adds.
"Multipolarity is already occurring, although the US is trying to create as many wars as possible to prevent it"
Finally, referring to the discussions on the upcoming multipolar order, Dr. Mallinson points out that "the main struggle is that for the mastery of the EU, with the Ukraine as the battleground". Comparing the current situation with the period before World War II, he emphasized how "the weakening of the UN system, and failed sanctions, are now leading to the next world war, which some would say has already begun".
"As for Greece, this is a joke. She has constantly proved herself a traitor towards her main historical ally, Russia, preferring to send weapons and money to Kiev to kill Russians, rather than even pay its own citizens’ pensions on time! Greece has no foreign policy: it is Anglo-Saxon. It is unfortunate that Greece cannot learn from Turkey in this respect", Dr. Mallinson concluded.
The full interview:
- How do you see the developed defence relations between Turkey and Great Britain in the field of war industry? Britain is said to assist Turkey in developing the TF-X fighter jet, a move with negative consequences for Greece. How would you comment on that?
Britain has always supported Turkey, as a buffer against Russia, as a way to hang onto its military bases in Cyprus, and to use Cyprus with the USA as a de facto NATO base. Turkey is trying to increase its military, industrial and economic strength in the region. But us is still early days: regular production has not started, and there are still discussions about licencing. The production of engines has not yet been decided. Also, not only Britain’s BA Systems and Rolls Royce are involved, but America’s General Electric is competing. Sweden’s Saab is also said to be involved in developing the design. Much goes on behind the scenes. And to enrich the picture, Russia’s Rostec is said to be in the picture. Turkey is playing its well-known Byzantine balancing game between opposing forces, to gain maximum advantage. On the one hand, she has Russian S-400 systems, while on the other she is still trying to get the US o give the go-ahead for F-16’s. The US congress has said that Turkey must first approve Sweden’s NATO application. As for Greece, she is likely to buy F-35s from America. The cat among the pigeons is Russia, which could even consider offering jets to Turkey in return for Turkey not approving Sweden’s NATO application. This all very interesting for the American military-industrial-congressional-complex, whose essential aim is shareholder profits. Turkey’s aim is eventually to have its own indigenous production of fighter jets. Greece has been forced to reciprocate by increasing its defence budget. Greek-Turkish tensions are lucrative for America. America’s nightmare would be good relations between Greece and Turkey, with a resolution of the Aegean dispute.
- What is your position regarding the Turkish "Blue Homeland" dogma, the Turkish-Libyan memorandum of understanding and the Cyprus issue? What are the connections and most likely developments?
Clever Turkish diplomacy has complicated the issue. There are two political power centres in Libya: the UN-approved government of National Accord in Tripoli, and Haftar’s Libyan National Army in Tobruk. Turkey intervened militarily in the former’s’s support, against the Libyan National Army, and has signed a maritime agreement with it that throws international law of the sea into disarray. Egypt, which supports the Tobruk government, has denounced the deal, while Tunisia, France, Greece, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia - while recognising the Tripoli government - have denounced the deal, as well as Turkish military involvement. (There is meant to be an arms embargo on Syria). Turkey is flexing its muscles, and has cleverly exploited NATO’s legally questionable attack on Libya, and the destruction of a stable state. As for the theoretical demarcation lines of the Tripoli-Ankara agreement, several Greek islands, including Crete and Rhodes, are actually ignored. The dispute pits Turkey against several eastern Mediterranean states that have agreed maritime and economic zones with Greece and Cyprus. Turkey is behaving in a cavalier yet clever fashion, and has not even signed the UN Law of the Sea Convention. The Turkish attempt to impose its will against international law of the sea further complicates the Cyprus issue, which has existed ever since Britain brought Turkey into the question in the 50s (against Article 16 of the Treaty of Lausanne), helping Turkey secretly with propaganda in order to divide Greece and Turkey, so as to hang onto the island. The most likely developments are continuing destabilisation for the foreseeable future, while the world focuses on the Ukraine. As US power in the Eastern Mediterranean decreases, Russia is likely to play a more dominant rôle in Greece-Turkish relations, with the eventual aim of weakening NATO. But for the time being, this official British quote says it all: We must also recognise that in the final analysis Turkey must be regarded as more important to Western strategic interests than Greece and that, if risks must be run, they should be risks of further straining Greek rather than Turkish relations with the West. Although this was written in 1975, after Britain had allowed Kissinger to help Turkey to occupy one third of Cyprus, it still holds true now.
- Do you see the East-Med pipeline returning to the spotlight in the wake of the energy crisis in Europe? How would you describe its economic and geopolitical impact in the region?
In January 2022, the United States announced withdrawal of support, as the project was allegedly not seen as economically viable or environmentally friendly, meaning the project is likely to be cancelled and replaced with an energy connection between Egypt and Greece. DEPA of Greece and Edison of Italy are the main pipeline construction companies involed. Turkey has vehemently oppose the EastMed project, as it claims that the selected pipeline route bypasses the long Turkish coastline to deliver gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe. Thus, the Israel-Cyprus-Greece agreement has been thrown into confusion. Whatever Turkish threats about going its own way, the US needs Turkey even more than Greece, and the US withdrawal of support for the pipeline has pleased Turkey, to Greece’s irritation.
- What are the possible implications of Serbia's pro-Western turn and what should we expect next in the Western Balkans?
Serbia not ‘pro-Western’, whatever the mainstream Western media claim. Vucic is as clever balancer, and knows that the majority of the Serbian people despise NATO for its illegal 78-day bombing campaign. Serbia’s relations with Russia are stronger than with the EU. Recently, the Serbian government rejected Deutsche Telekom’s underhand attempt to buy Serbia’s state telecommunications. Greece succumbed. As for Kosovo, a UN resolution states that it is still a part of Serbia. Those countries that have recognised Kosovo have done so for political, rather than for ethical and legal reasons. America is trying to interfere, but Russian-Serb solidarity will stop this. Camp Bondsteel is an American replica of Guantanamo.
- War in Ukraine is raging and there has been a lot of talk about nuclear conflict or the use of other Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). Is this a real possibility? If so, what are the consequences?
If the Crimea is threatened, then Russia may consider using deleted uranium shells against western Ukraine, as did NATO in Serbia. But given the proven long-term-damage to people and the environment (Italy recently admitted the link between cancer and these weapons), Russia is more likely to use some of its most powerful thermobaric weapons, which it has not yet resorted to.
- What is the much-discussed multipolarity and what are its implications on the geopolitical status quo? What is the position of Europe and especially Greece in a multipolar world?
Multipolarity is already occurring, although the US is trying to create as many wars as possible to prevent it. The dollar is already on the way out as the world’s main currency, particularly in oil transactions. Saudi Arabia’s and China’s using the Yuan is but one example. India is trading in non-dollar currencies, while BRICS members Brazil and South Africa are avoiding the dollar when they can. The US is being slowly pushed out of its illegal occupation of parts of Syria, and China is flexing its military muscles around Taiwan. The main struggle is that for the mastery of the EU, with the Ukraine as the battleground. Britain and the US have always tried to keep Germany and Europe away from Russia, and this outdated geopolitical and imperialistic policy is now coming to a deadly climax. The EU has completely succumbed to US-British pressure, and its existence as an independent unit is a dream. The world is becoming increasingly chaotic, with the US having pulled unilaterally out of various treaties, and using NATO as a tool for trying to dominate the world. Just as the undermining of the League of Nations and failed sanctions led to the last world war, so is the weakening of the UN system, and failed sanctions, now leading to the next world war, which some would say has already begun. The same things return, albeit in new names and colours. When a multi-polar world does emerge, the EU may find more independence from America, the problem being that Poland, the Baltic statelets and Britain will try to support American interests. But Russia, China, and probably India, will woo the EU. As for Greece, this is a joke. She has constantly proved herself a traitor towards her main historical ally, Russia, preferring to send weapons and money to Kiev to kill Russians, rather than even pay its own citizens’ pensions on time! Greece has no foreign policy: it is Anglo-Saxon. It is unfortunate that Greece cannot learn from Turkey in this respect.
*William Mallinson, a member of the editorial committee of the Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and a member of Cambridge Scholars Publishing’s Editorial Advisory Group (history), is a former member of Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service who left to study for, and was awarded, his Ph.D. at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Department of International History. He covered Dutch foreign policy, Dutch-German relations and German rearmament during the initial period of the building of European institutions and NATO, and the formative years of the Cold War. Following a period in business as European Public Affairs Manager at ITT’s European Headquarters in Brussels, and then Digital Equipment Corporation’s in Geneva, he turned his attention to the academic world, playing a pivotal role in introducing Britain’s first Honours degree in Public Relations. He was a CAM Examiner, and then Lecturer in British history, literature and culture at the Ionian University. Since 1994, when he was awarded a Greek Government scholarship, he has been perusing British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet archives, under the general rubric of Anglo-Greek relations during the Cold War, including Cyprus. He has been a professor at the American College of Greece and head of the International Relations Department at New York College, then lecturer at the Ionian University in Corfu, and until recently, Professor of Political Ideas and Institutions at Università Guglielmo Marconi. He also published many articles in the press, has been interviewed by the BBC World, Russia Today and Russia Channel One, and spoken at numerous conferences, in Moscow, London, Zurich, Athens, Rome and Cyprus. He has undertaken corporate consultancy projects, and is an occasional lecturer at the Greek National Defence School, particularly on Britain and Russia/USSR.