The times they are a-changin’

Repeated comments by low-ranking US officials expressing their displeasure at Greece’s signing of the South Stream pipeline project with Russia are beginning to verge on the ridiculous. Matthew Bryza, US deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, this week suggested that Greece should ignore its strategic interests and – instead of the South Stream option – plump for the pipeline that will wind its way across Turkey, even though fears have been expressed that it will not have sufficient natural gas to convey. The Americans must finally come to terms with the fact that Greece is a European state with its own interests, whether these be in the energy sector, regarding the Macedonia name dispute, or anything else. Such statements of disapproval have nothing to offer. They simply highlight Washington’s failure to grasp the changes in Greek-US ties since the 1960s.