Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the rest of the P5 must intervene at this point it time for Turkey to terminate its provocative behaviour and for the negotiations to resume where they left off at Crans Montana, Cyprus Foreign Affairs Minister Nicos Christodoulides has said.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, following consultations with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, who is visiting Cyprus on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, Christodoulides said that Turkey is violating the international law and pointed out the need for the dialogue to resume in proper conditions and yield results. He also said that he briefed Lavrov on Turkey’s increased public statements regarding the opening of the fenced-off town of Famagusta.
He also said that during the talks they examined the level of the bilateral relations and cooperation and discussed ways to further enhance them in areas such as trade, economy and culture.
Cyprus' Minister also expressed Nicosia’s concern on the situation in Libya and Syria and briefed his counterpart on the initiatives taken in Lebanon, following the huge blast at Beirut’s port.
Lavrov in his statements via an interpreter said that the bilateral ties go back ages and are well rooted in political, cultural and religious level.
He said that in the 60 years of diplomatic relations the two countries have achieved a lot and want to further enhance their cooperation.
On the escalation of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean the Russian FM expressed his country’s will and determination to provide assistance, via dialogue, if asked to do so by the leaders in the area.
As regards the Cyprus problem he reaffirmed Moscow’s support for a solution based on the relevant UNSC resolutions and the international law and added that Cyprus does not need guarantors. He also said that there is no need for a change in UNFICYP’s mandate but Cyprus must utter its clear opinion for its future.
Lavrov also said that the issue of Varosha could be resolved in the framework of the resumption of the talks.
In the context of the consultations which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides and Russian Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Sazanov signed the Cyprus-Russia Double Tax Treaty, which was amended last month.
In statementsm Petrides said that this development will be beneficial for investments, trade and the labour market.
Cyprus, he noted accepted an increase in taxation to 15%, a request by Russia. He added that a position put forward by Cyprus on important exceptions was also accepted by Russia and gave the examples of insurance companies, provident funds, companies listed in the Stock Exchange with a specific share capital base and the interest rate on government bonds or Eurobonds.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. The last round of UN backed talks took place in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana in 2017 but failed to yield results.
Ankara sent on several occasions its seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), following the Republic of Cyprus’ decision, in 2011, to start exploratory offshore drilling. After May 2019, Turkey caused a stir by sending consecutively two drill ships, “Fatih” and “Yavuz”, to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, at times in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies.
The European Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and in February 2020, placed two persons under restrictive measures, in relation to Turkey`s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.