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Lavrov to visit Cyprus, Russian Ambassador tells CNA

May 9, 2019 at 8:08am

The Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergey Lavrov, is planning to pay a visit to Cyprus during which agreements will be signed between the two countries, Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), adding that no date has been set yet for this visit.

Osadchiy also noted that Lavrov was informed from the first moment about the developments related to the Turkish activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and has been in contact with his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides about this issue.

Replying to CNA questions regarding the Turkish activities in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone, the Russian Ambassador recalled the relevant  press release issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday and added: “We think that during this difficult period for this region any step that undermines the possibilities for negotiations (on the Cyprus problem) must be avoided and this is why we have issued this statement.”

“We really believe that all disagreements can be resolved at the negotiating table. We wish that developments will take place the soonest possible and will lead to the settlement of the Cyprus problem,” he noted.

Asked if his country intends to put forward the issue related to the Turkish activities during its discussions with Ankara, Osadchiy noted that each time that the Cypriot side asks his country to convey a message to Turkey, Russia does so.

He noted that the Russian Federation has good relations both with Cyprus and Turkey, expressing the belief that “this is to the Cypriots’ benefit as well.”

The Ambassador said that the Russian Foreign Minister was informed about the situation from the first moment that Cyprus protested the Turkish activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and was in touch with the Cypriot Foreign Minister, adding that Russia was among the first countries which issued a statement on this issue.

Responding to another question, he said that Lavrov is planning to visit Cyprus, but no date has been set yet for this visit. This is an issue that will be arranged through diplomatic channels, he noted, expressing hope that the visit will take place this year.

He also said that there are certain agreements to be signed during this visit, however he did not want to say which fields they concern, adding that the whole issue is under discussion.

Turkey has issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Drillship “Fatih” is in an area west of the Akamas peninsula within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

Moscow expressed on Saturday concern about the escalation in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release that they were “deeply concerned about information regarding the escalation of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“We firmly proceed from the fact that any economic activity should correspond to the norms of international law. We call upon not to undertake actions that could cause tension and create additional obstacles on the way to the settlement of the Cyprus problem” the press release noted.

Osadchiy made his statements today on the sidelines of a reception hosted at the Russian Embassy in Nicosia on the occasion of the Victory Day celebrated on May 9, commemorating the surrender of Nazis in 1945.

The reception was attended, among others, by Acting President of the Republic, House President Demetris Syllouris, Minister of Transport, Communication and Works Vasiliki Anastasiadou, former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side Andreas Mavroyiannis, heads and members of diplomatic missions in Cyprus, other officials and World War II veterans.

In his address during the reception, Osadchiy referred to the heavy price which his country paid during World War II with the loss of 26 million lives and underlined the need for young generations to keep the memory of this tragedy alive.

(Cyprus News Agency)