Cyprus’ sovereignty and territorial integrity could be guaranteed by the UN SC, Lavrov says

The most effective safeguarding of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus could come from the UN Security Council itself, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

Speaking after talks in Moscow with his Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Christodoulides, Lavrov said the system of guarantees (in Cyprus) is anachronistic and is inconsistent with the modern world. He also described Cyprus as an important partner of Russia in Eastern Mediterranean and Europe.

According to a Presidency announcement, developments regarding Cyprus issue and the Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone were among the issues discussed at the meeting in Moscow, where Christodoulides paid a working visit at Lavrov’s invitation.

Welcoming Christodoulides, Lavrov congratulated the former for his appointment as Foreign Minister, noting that the Russian Federation greatly appreciates its relations with Cyprus which are based on excellent cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and other fields.

Speaking through an interpreter, Lavrov said that there is a constructive dialogue between the two countries both on international and European matters.

The Cypriot Minister expressed gratitude and appreciation for the invitation Lavrov extended, adding that the Republic of Cyprus is situated in a particularly important region, that of Eastern Mediterranean, and can contribute in handling existing provocations.

The Russian Federation, he added, as a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council and due to the relations it maintains with Turkey, can help in resuming the dialogue for a Cyprus solution, adding that despite the problems and obstacles, we believe that the current situation cannot constitute a solution to the Cyprus issue. Regarding the EU-Russian relations, he said that solutions can only be found through dialogue.

Speaking after the talks with Christodoulides, Lavrov said that Cyprus is an important partner of Russia in Eastern Mediterranean and Europe and that both countries maintain friendly relations in all fields.

He also said it is a common desire to strengthen and increase economic relations, adding that the joint governmental committee for economic relations can contribute towards this direction.

He also said there is progress in strengthening these relations and that many bilateral agreements are already in force.

Lavrov said we discussed the prospects to resume negotiations on Cyprus and surely, we support a solution based on the UN resolutions.

The Russian minister said the system of guarantees on the island is anachronistic and is inconsistent with the modern world, adding that the most effective safeguarding of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus can come from the UN Security Council itself.

He also said the two discussed issues pertaining to UNFICYP’s role.

On his part, Christodoulides said they had a sincere and open dialogue during which a constructive, interesting and effective discussion and exchange of views was held on bilateral relations, regional issues, EU-Russian relations and of course, the Cyprus problem.

Bilateral relations, he said, are on a very satisfactory level, adding that they discussed ways to further develop them and jointly work through specific actions, to achieve the goal.

Regarding the Cyprus problem, Christodoulides underlined the Republic of Cyprus’ appreciation for Moscow’s longstanding principled stance that Russia maintains on the Cyprus problem, especially in the framework of the Security Council, as well as Russia’s clear position for the need to abolish the anachronistic system of 1960 guarantees.

Christodoulides informed Lavrov on the current developments on the Cyprus problem and the government’s view that the unacceptable status quo needs to be resolved the soonest. The Cypriot minister also conveyed President Nicos Anastasiades’ readiness to resume talks for a solution based on the UN resolutions, the acquis, the principles and values of the EU and urged Lavrov, who knows the Cyprus problem very well, to help in this direction during the meetings and contacts he will have in the immediate future.

The minister said it is very important in the current situation that Russia supports a solution based on international law and relevant UN resolutions.

During the meeting, Christodoulides informed Lavrov on the situation in Cyprus’ EEZ and the provocative and illegal Turkish actions that violate every international law principle and contribute negatively in finding a solution as well as undermining the stability in Eastern Mediterranean.

The Cypriot Minister also expressed the concern of the people of Cyprus over the planned construction of the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Turkey, which is very close to Cyprus.

They also discussed EU-Russia relations, noting that it is “a fact that there are challenges and difficulties, but at the same time it is crucial that there is a continued dialogue and exchange of views so that we can see on the one hand how disagreements can be dealt with and how to create prospects to normalise them, and on the other hand, how we work together to address a variety of international problems, common challenges, such as terrorism. “

They also examined regional and international relations with Lavrov informing the Cypriot minister on the latest developments in Syria and the situation in the country. Cyprus, said Christodoulides, as a neighbouring state with Syria, is concerned about the continuation of the crisis and supports unity and the country’s territorial integrity. We believe, he added, that a solution can come only through political dialogue.

They also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue and expressed the clear position of the Republic of Cyprus for the need to implement the Minsk agreements as the sole option to open the road for an overall peaceful solution.

We consider the Russian proposal for the development of a United Nations peacekeeping force in Donbass as a step in the right direction, which could help reduce tension and implement the Minsk agreements,” he said.

Finally he said that this first visit and its results confirm the strong and long-standing ties of friendship among the two peoples, as well as the high level of bilateral relations.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. A Conference on Cyprus last July in the Swiss resort of Crans – Montana ended inconclusively. UN backed talks aim to to reunify the island under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency