Address by the President of the Republic Mr Nicos Anastasiades at the 12th Cyprus- Russian Festival Limassol

It is a great pleasure to address the official opening ceremony of the 12th Cyprus � Russian Festival.

The fact that this Festival is being held for the 12th consecutive year manifests that it has been firmly established as an event that fosters unity and social cohesion between our two peoples, through sharing our exceptional rich culture and traditions and celebrating our well-established and genuine friendship.

To this end, allow me to extend my sincere congratulations to the organisers of this event: the Russian newspaper VESTNIK KIPRA, the Limassol Municipality, the Russian Embassy and the Moscow Government, and, of course, the sponsors of the Festival for their valuable contribution in support of the event.

Before proceeding further, as the Festival takes place only two days before the occasion of Russia’s National Day, I kindly ask you dear Ambassador Osadchiy to convey my deep feelings of appreciation to President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev and my best wishes for steady progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Russia. I also extent these wishes to all of you present here.

Our countries share a long-standing partnership at all levels and in all fields: a partnership founded on concrete and deeply-entrenched historical, political, cultural and religious ties.

This is a partnership greatly valued by the Government and the people of Cyprus and one that we actively aim to qualitatively upgrade to new levels, as my presence here as well demonstrates.

In this respect, I believe that my official visit at the Russian Federation in February 2015 constituted a landmark for widening the already excellent relations between our two countries, since we had the opportunity with President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev to reaffirm our reciprocal political engagement to the same fundamental cause:

A� Deepen our cooperation and further solidify the deep political, cultural and religious links between our countries and peoples, which have proved resilient both through time and a number of different challenges we have faced.

A� Enhance our dialogue and understanding on regional matters, with emphasis on the area of the Eastern Mediterranean where we share common worries, concerns and anxieties.

I do hope, following my extension of invitation, that my visit will soon be reciprocated at the highest level or I will be able to yet again pay a visit Moscow at mutually agreed dates, in order to explore new areas of beneficial cooperation, as well as deepen and enhance our existing collaborations, for the mutual benefit of our countries and our people.

For many of our Russian friends Cyprus has become your second home, while for many Cypriots your ties with Russia go far beyond business and entrepreneurial activities, embracing strong interpersonal links and respect for this magnificently diverse and rich-in-heritage country.

We value immensely this aspect of our relations and we are delighted by the natural affinity shared between Cypriots and Russians. Affinity between our peoples is a symbolic emblem of our relations; relations that have proven resilient and durable even when tried and tested.

In this regard, it would be a great omission on my behalf if I did not extend my satisfaction and gratitude for the vote of confidence, trust and faith which the Russian people, in particular the vibrant Russian community residing in Cyprus, as well as the Russian Business Community, have been displaying to Cyprus and its financial and economic system, particularly during the past four years and following the Eurogroup Agreement of March 2013.

This is a most important demonstration of the principle of solidarity which has been characterizing our relations and also proves that Cyprus and Russia continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial partnership which, founded on a concrete basis, has a prosperous future.

To this end, I can assure you that Cyprus will remain a reliable partner to all of you, especially since we are now emerging stronger than ever from an unprecedented crisis and our journey along the road to recovery has been faster than anyone could predict.

At the same time, I also feel obliged to convey the gratitude of the Government and the people of Cyprus for Russia’s traditional principled stance as regards the efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement on the basis of the principles that are founded on the respect for international law, the UN Charter and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.

The vast attendance of all of you friends here tonight is yet again a reaffirmation of our distinctive and enduring ties and the best confirmation of the unique quality of everything that unites us. I am certain that, just like the previous years, you will have a memorable evening.

Source: Press and Information Office