Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is leaving for the Cypriot capital of Nicosia on Tuesday, where he will meet with his Cypriot counterpart and the President of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiadis.
Moscow says it is ready to contribute to the formation of good neighborly relations between Cyprus and Turkey. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia wants to help ease the crisis if both sides request Russian assistance.
In an interview with “Phileleftheros” ahead of his visit to Nicosia on Tuesday, Sergei Lavrov expressed concern about developments in the eastern Mediterranean and noted that “we consider unacceptable any actions that may further increase its potential.” He stressed that the differences should be better settled at the negotiating table.
Lavrov ‘s visit to Cyprus comes on the occasion of the completion of 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It takes place at the same time and at a critical juncture for the region, as in addition to the many open fronts and tensions, there are also moves on the diplomatic chessboard.
On the issue of occupied Famagusta in northern Cyprus and the moves by the Turkish side to colonize it, he referred to Moscow’s firm position, stressing that this issue must be resolved on the basis of existing UN Security Council resolutions and, first of all, 550 (1984) and 789 (1992).
His position on Russia-Turkey relations is also clear, emphasizing that:
“The deepening of Russian-Turkish co-operation, as well as the need for reciprocal action with Ankara on regional issues, does not and will not in any way affect our dialogue with Nicosia.”
Meanwhile, Nicosia has no complaints against Moscow regarding the NAVTEX issued yesterday in the Eastern Mediterranean, said Kyriakos Kousios.
Government spokesman Kyriakos Kousios stressed that Cyprus is aware of NAVTEX issued last week for fire drills in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“It is known to everyone that for many years, Russia has been addressing Cyprus in the cases of issuing NOTAM or NAVTEX and is addressing a specific organization, NAVAREA III,” he noted.
He added that it is also known that Turkey intervenes and issues some other NAVTEX, but “we have information and when it comes to the issuance of NOTAM and NAVTEX this is done by the Republic of Cyprus at the request of the Russian Federation.”
Also, the government spokesman hastened to add that “the Republic of Cyprus was clearly informed about everything,” while when asked if there is any complaint from Russia, he answered “no.”
On the contrary, the complaint of Nicosia, according to Kousios, is “for the exploitation that it receives from Turkey.”
After all, Cyprus issued an “anti-NAVTEX,” thus responding to the Turkish directive for fire drills in the Eastern Mediterranean.