Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on “the United Nations and the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide to stop trying to artificially appoint timeframes for reaching agreements and imposing solutions that are rejected by any of the parties to the Cyprus settlement.”
Lavrov was speaking during a press conference with Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides, who said he briefed Lavrov on the latest developments in Cyprus and “in particular this concerns the matter of security.”
“It is the most important chapter for us in any solution. We know that Russia’s stance is identical to ours in that the institution of guarantees must be eliminated and all foreign troops withdrawn from Cyprus,” Kasoulides, who is in Russia as part of the preparations of Nicosia’s Presidency in the Council of Europe, pointed out.
He added that Russia, as a UN Security Council member, had always adhered to high-principled positions, and kept pressing for them today.
According to Tass news agency, Lavrov said that the development of relations and cooperation between Russia and Cyprus do not depend on the current political environment.
“We regularly communicate at various levels, and this underlines that our political dialogue is based on trust and of special character. Last year we celebrated 55 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations and all these years once again laid emphasis that our cooperation and development of bilateral relations do not depend on the political environment,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov also said that Russia calls on the United Nations not to impose its vision of Cyprus settlement on Cyprus.
According to an official press release, Lavrov said “we are committed by the decisions made by the UN Security Council supporting a Cyprus settlement based on the principle of agreements between the two communities and we remain committed to this principle.
“We will respect any decision made by the people of Cyprus. At this point, we are aware of the position of the Republic of Cyprus and we think that this position should be taken into account and there should be no attempts to impose any solution on the people of Cyprus by external forces. We believe that the UN and the UN Special Adviser working on the Cyprus settlement should not artificially pose any deadlines or any recommendations rejected by one of the parties in the Cyprus dispute,” he said.
Kasoulides said he “expressed the idea that the role of the Security Council will not be just to endorse any agreement reached, but to send the message to the Cypriot people that when it will be implemented, it will be implemented according to the content of the agreement.”
Furthermore, Kasoulides said Moscow and Nicosia did not discuss the issue of setting up Russian military bases in Cyprus.
“Reality shows that Russia can come to Syria without any bases,” Kasoulides said, answering a question as to how Cyprus could help Russia in the fight against international terrorism taking into account its geographic location.
According to Tass, Lavrov confirmed that the issue was not discussed, and pointed out that he could not remember the two governments ever discussing this issue. Lavrov added that Russia’s military bases in Latakia and Tartus are adequate to conduct counter-terrorist operations in Syria.
Kasoulides assured that Cyprus supports Syria’s territorial integrity and unity.