Those of you interested in Eric Koch’s new book, “The Golden Years: Five Stories,” can watch this YouTube video.
From a dispatch by Andrew Higgins in The New York Times, March 23
With just 860,000 people and a gross domestic product of only $23 billion, the Republic of Cyprus makes an unlikely strategic prize. But it sits atop a web of overlapping and potentially volatile fault lines – between East and West, the European Union, Russia. and Greece and Turkey, whose troops occupy the northern part of the island. It also has natural gas in the waters off its coast toward Israel. Nobody knows for sure yet how much – that may become clearer later this year when Houston-based Noble Energy carries out a new round of exploratory drilling.
But just the possibility of significant reserves has raised hope in Brussels, and fear in Moscow, that Cyprus could help break the European Union’s dependence on Russian-supplied gas.
“There is a clear danger of this area becoming a platform for confrontation between East and West,” said Harry Tzimitras, director of PRIO Cyprus Centre, a research center in the capital, Nicosia….
In Russia’s view, Cyprus, which already has two British military bases, a legacy of the country’s colonial past, would also be an ideal place to set up a small naval installation should the Kremlin lose access to Tartus, a Syrian port that risks being swamped by that nation’s civil war.