Crossfire War – Athens – Moscow – Belgrade – Tehran Watch – Southeast Europe Theatre: Tehran – Ankara – Moscow – Athens – Belgrade/Pristina – Vienna – Brussels – Warsaw; Greece Military Delegation Arrives in Moscow – Follow Up to December Visit By Russia Dm Ivanov – Balkans – Kosovo Agenda – Military Support of Serbia
Night Watch: MOSCOW – As the European Union Foreign Policy representative Javier Solana arrives in Russia’s capital today on a vain, futile mission to convince Moscow to distance itself from Belgrade, a high level military delegation from Athens has just arrived for more serious discussions on Greece-Russia military support of Serbia. The Greek delegation is being led by the commander of the 1st Army and will meet the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Army Alexei Maslov and other Russian military officials. This is an immediate follow up to the visit to Athens in December by Russia Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov in which the issue in the Balkans, specifically Kosovo, was discussed and a joint approach to end the continued occupation by NATO-EU-UN units. Both Athens-Moscow agree completely on full support for Belgrade which will have a real impact in the field and not just in diplomatic circles. [RIA]
Military successes by Serbia will alter any position in the United Nations Security Council. With that in mind Athens signed a security agreement with Belgrade in November as did Tehran in January last year in obvious preparation for the next wave of fighting that Tehran intends to use to silence Vienna. Both Moscow-Athens are aware the international forces, whether under the UN-NATO-EU-OSCE are more of an occupation force than any genuine peacekeeping presence and that it was those organizations whose decision to recognize the division of Yugoslavia which set the stage for their occupation-control of the divided country. Russia withdrew its forces after 1999, the year of the 78-day NATO air campaign against Serbia, as NATO officials contemptuously dismissed civilian casualties as “collateral damage.”
Military cooperation between Greece – Russia is not new. Military-technical cooperation between them began in 1993, which was followed by an inter-government agreement in 1995. Russia’s military equipment is regularly exhibited at Greece’s Defendory international land, air and sea arms show. This is the opposite of Athens official lack of cooperation with NATO ally Washington. May 10, 2006 crossfirewar.com reported Athens denying Washington the right to use Greece’s Souda naval-air base for an attack on Iran while Athens has repeated stated it has no problems with Iran’s nuclear program. Crossfirewar.com also reported, Jan. 19, 2006 Beijing-Athens established “comprehensive strategic relations”, which China knows will weaken the West with more fighting in the Balkans. It was also reported on crossfirewar.com that Greece-Turkey had joint maneuvers in the Dragas region of Kosovo, near Albania’s border, Aug. 27, 2005. Greeks fighting alongside Serbs in the first phase of the Balkan war 1991-95 was an open secret.
Brussels will have no substantial military support anywhere in Southeast Europe. Even the Albanians who want Kosovo’s independence will attack the military forces of international organizations advocating their independence since the process seems never-ending. This is the disturbing, chaotic reality confronting the desperate EU delegation accompanying Solana today in Moscow and tomorrow they are to go to Belgrade. I can hardly wait to hear news reports on how Serbia will receive them. Accompanying Solana is EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner formerly Austria Foreign Minister. When she spoke at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations in 1998 she assumed the next conflict crisis in the region would be Montenegro. That is just a small indication of the state of confusion these decision making bodies have placed themselves in. Events are definitely overtaking them. [AKI]
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier is also a member of the delegation and this was not an issue he believed would consume much of his time. Berlin’s priority is to prepare Moscow for a more powerful, effective response to Tehran’s support for Tbilisi-Baku in the energy strategic South Caucasus. There may even be detailed plans for German units to arrive there to fight alongside Russian forces, but with massive fighting in the Balkans breaking out Germany will have to commit almost all of its land and air units to meet the invasion coming from Iran as Tehran uses the region as its avenue of invasion into Europe.
I suspect that in Moscow the EU delegation is being told their international-military units in the Balkans are no longer viewed as a stabilizing influence or as a desired presence, therefore it is understandable it will come under attack from a variety of religious-political-regional directions.