Moscow’s position on Cyprus remains unchanged, Russian Ambassador tells CNA

Moscow opposes the introduction of any sanctions bypassing the UN Security Council, said the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Cyprus, Stanislav Osadchiy, while noting that his country’s position on the Cyprus issue remains unchanged.

Osadchiy was asked by CNA to comment on recent statements by Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, who told Izvestia newspaper that Moscow opposes EU sanctions against Turkey. It is well-known, that Russia has always opposed and opposes now the introduction of any sanctions bypassing the UN Security Council. Only this body is authorized to use such weapon as sanctions the Ambassador replied. He added that sanctions usually have an opposite effect and aggravate the situation.

All the disagreements should be resolved at the table of negotiations. Russia supports the continuation of negotiations on the Cyprus settlement the Ambassador went on.

Referring to Turkish drill ships ‘Fatih’ and ‘Yavuz’, the Ambassador said that the Foreign Ministry of Russia did not support the unilateral actions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. Nothing should impede the negotiations on the Cyprus problem. Our well-known position on the Cyprus issue remains unchanged the Ambassador concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship Fatih is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

A second Turkish drill ship, Yavuz, arrived off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8. In response the EU Foreign Ministers endorsed, on July 15, measures concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, cutting the EU pre-accession assistance for 2020, suspending EU- Turkey high political dialogues and stopping European Investment Bank’ lending activities in the country.

In accordance with the June 20, 2019, European Council conclusions, Foreign Ministers also invited the High Representative and the Commission to continue working on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Cyprus News Agency