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Russia’s Lavrov calls for restraint in Cyprus

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday sent the message that international law should prevail when it comes to imminent gas drilling within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

And that countries should opt for diplomacy and refrain from force or the threat of force.

He was responding to a question about strong speculation that Turkey plans a hot incident in the region in July when international firms are set to drill offshore Cyprus.

“In this case, as in any other similar case, there is a need for self-restraint not to threaten violence and also restraint not to use violence,” Lavrov told journalist after talks in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides.

Kasoulides went a step further saying the specific issue was raised during their meeting and that there is mutual understanding that international law should prevail.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s support for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the agreements between the two communities.

Russia’s top diplomat is on a two-day working visit in Cyprus during which he will also hold talks at noon on Friday with President Nicos Anastasiades.

As well as take part in the events concluding Cyprus’ presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. He is accompanied by deputy foreign minister Alexei Meshkov.

Talks with Kasoulides also focused on the situation in neighbouring war-torn Syria, international terrorism and EU-Russia relations.

Lavrov said the fight against terrorism calls for a settlement in the Middle East and Northern Africa, but first and foremost in Syria.

He also made clear that there is no cause for satisfaction when it comes to Russia-EU relations.

“Cooperation must be based on equal rights and mutual respect. For that to happen, Brussels must stop having a one-way street game,” Lavrov said.

Cyprus is part of the group of countries within the EU advocating normal cooperation between the two sides and Moscow is grateful for that, he added.

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