The collapse of eleventh-hour talks between Greece and the EU in Brussels this week has taken an interesting twist. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his finance minister Yanis Varoufakis have rejected the outline of a new rescue package because they believe it to be than a repackaging of previous offers, with no changes to the conditions governing repayments.

The Greek leaders are rejecting the measures because they believe the current financial woes embroiling their country came about largely as the fault of the EU. As such, they say, it is unfair their countrymen and women endure the crushing austerity required by the current bailout packages. Tsipras, therefore, says he means to follow through on his election promises and lift the burden of austerity measures unfairly imposed on Greek citizens.

To this end Tsipras has recently been to Cyprus to talk about the potentially massive oil and gas reserves off its blue coastline.

Greece has made no secret of its wish to reunify with Cypress. As a result of a war between Turkey and Greece 40 years ago, Cypress became its own sovereign state. And while the island nation can lay claim to the oil and gas reserves it lacks the financial muscle to tap them.

Reunification, then, would be in the best interests of both parties.

Furthermore, Tsipras is openly courting Russian president Vladimir Putin. There may be several reasons for this:

First, for the EU an estranged Greece is one thing, but a Greece running into the arms of Russia is quite another. Russia has shown its disdain for the EU in its war with Ukraine, the shooting down of a passenger airliner, and the subsequent hampering of an investigation. The great fear of the EU is that Greece joining them could begin another Cold War.

Second: Both the Defence Minister Paos Kammenos and Finance Minister Nikos Kotzias have shown their openness towards the idea of appealing to Russia for bailout packages. Russia is dealing with its own financial woes; but it has shown in the past that it is not above sacrificing its own citizens to benefit the state.

Third: the right-wing Syriza party has openly declared its wish to re-establish Hellenism – that is, to regain the dominion and influence it enjoyed in the Classical period. The Syriza party believe they represent the views of the majority of Greeks when they say this dominion and influence are their ‘right’. The re-establishing of Hellenism would be impossible while yoked to the EU, but with Russia as an ally – who knows?

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