Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
22nd February, 2016
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Doctor of Economics and Professor of MGIMO, Valentin Katasonov, believes that such a proposal can be approved at the highest level, because avoiding shipping through the Bosporus and Dardanelles will be able to significantly reduce dependence on Turkey, with whom relations have deteriorated during the operation of the Russian Federation in Syria.
“I think the cooperation is not limited to interaction at the level of the chamber of Commerce, it will be connected later to a higher level of inter-state relations. The question, of course, is on a national scale. We really need to exit the Mediterranean sea bypassing the Bosporus and the Dardanelles. Another alternative is the channel on the inside of Iran, such a project existed about a hundred years ago. This option is also being quite seriously discussed,” said Katasonov to RT.
Despite the fact that the Greek mayor’s proposal to help Russia in ensuring security and continuity of international transportation, due to the exclusion of Turkey certain risks will be retained, said the expert.
“There are certain risks to Greece who still need to drop off the goods. Not all transit countries are friendly to Russia, so it is necessary to analyze the existence of risks in relation to the inland transportation of cargo. Special investment in land transport is not necessary, so this option is possible”, said Katasonov.
Valentin Katasonov noted that such a move would not be welcomed by NATO, and Greece would be made to pay for their decision, as the country is in a very difficult financial situation.
“It will be painfully received by Western countries and NATO, Greece has nowhere to go — last summer they signed an agreement with the IMF and the EU for three years, but already by the summer of 2016, the situation will heat up, and the hot issues that were discussed in 2015, including the country’s withdrawal from the EU, will probably return. So the Greeks are counting on alternative options,” concluded the expert.