Like imperial Russia, the Soviet Union followed a policy of slow but steady penetration into the Eastern Mediterranean countries, especially Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, mainly for geostrategic and economic reasons. However, this penetration was achieved by indirect methods. Rather than make territorial demands and send in their armed forces to annex, the Soviets, or the East Germans as their allies, supported various political groups and governments to weaken ties with the West and to extend Soviet influence southward. They also utilised Western countries’ mishandling of the Cyprus problem to encourage the governments, directly or indirectly, to pursue a non-aligned policy. A very effective method of popularising their goals proved the forum of the United Nations.
Soviet policy in Mediterranean, AKEL, Cold War, German Democratic Republic, Greek-Turkish relations, Northern Tier, NATO, US-Policy in Middle East, Soviet-Turkish relations, US-Greek Relations
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