Russian Foreign Minister will discuss with the Cypriot leadership with a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrives on a working visit to the Republic of Cyprus, which will last until May 20.
As reported previously Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexey Meshkov, it will be a full-length two-way visit of the Russian minister, during which talks will be held with President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. In addition, Lavrov will attend a meeting of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers (Committee of Ministers).
Topics and issues
As informed on Smolenskaya Square, a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues will be discussed during Lavrov's talks with the Cypriot authorities. "An exchange of views on prospects for cooperation between Russia and the European Union, - the ministry said -. It is also necessary to discuss the situation in Syria and the Middle East region as a whole, in the Ukraine."
Moscow and Nicosia are also interested in finding ways to align economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, which decreased as a result of anti-Russian sanctions of the European Union and the Russian response measures.
"As a result of 2016, the trade turnover between Russia and Cyprus reduced in comparison with 2015 year to 2,5% to $ 295,5 million, Russia's exports grew by 15,9% to $ 282,8 million, while imports from Cyprus decreased by 78,5% and amounted to $ 12,7 million - reported in dipvedomstva -. in January and February 2017, the trade turnover between Russia and Cyprus rose 34,1% to $ 56,2 million, Russia's exports grew by 37,8% to $ 55,0 million, while imports from Cyprus decreased by 39,5% and amounted to $ 1,2 million. "
Particular attention will be paid to the course of the intercommunal talks within the framework of the Cyprus settlement. As you know, after the military intervention of Turkey in 1974, Cyprus is divided along ethnic lines, under Turkish control is about 37% of the island. The leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, hold regular meetings in Nicosia under the auspices of the UN, their last conversation took place the day before.
Moscow has repeatedly stated its readiness to support "any agreement that the Cypriots themselves between the two communities reach", but a number of foreign media have repeatedly written about Russia's attempts to stall the alleged negotiations. According to the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Marii Zaharovoy, such statements "are not supported by the facts and is simply absurd."
"They (the statements) reflect the dissatisfaction of certain political forces, focused on certain groups in the US and UK, our principled position on the Cyprus issue. This position remains unchanged: we are in favor of achieving a comprehensive, just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem for the benefit of all the inhabitants of the island, - stressed in this regard Zakharov. - We consider inadmissible any attempts to influence the negotiation process from the outside for its artificial acceleration and reach a solution to the Cyprus issue at any cost. "
"We believe that the anti-Russian attacks some media is not going to benefit the process, and not in the interests of the Cypriots themselves," - he added the diplomat.
The atmosphere of friendship and sympathy
Moscow stressed that relations with Nicosia develop in an atmosphere of traditional friendship and mutual sympathy. "The positions of Russia and Cyprus on many issues are close or coincide, - the Russian dipvedomstva. - Both countries are in favor of an early return to a constructive dialogue between Russia and the EU, the strengthening of the central role of the UN in international relations as a universal institution for maintaining peace and security, for the collective response of the entire world community against such modern threats as international terrorism, transnational organized crime and trafficking drugs. "
The ministry also drew attention to the increased interest of Russian tourists to holiday in Cyprus. As reported by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) the number of Russian citizens requests for tours to Cyprus grew by 39,5% compared to March of last year, in 2016, Cyprus was visited by about 800 thousand Russians.
"The visit of the Minister of the Republic of Cyprus will undoubtedly serve to strengthen cooperation and further rapprochement of our countries and peoples", - said the Foreign Ministry.
Transfer of chairmanship
Ministerial Session of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers held 18-20 of May in Nicosia and has completed six-month presidency of Cyprus in the Committee of Ministers.
As reported by the Russian dipvedomstva, at the session will discuss the issues of conflicts and crises in Europe, in particular, the Ukrainian domestic conflict. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alekseya Meshkova, Moscow also will not be able to remain silent around that "bacchanalia", which is going on in today at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. "When such a deep crisis facing one of the main organs of the Council of Europe, will inevitably pay attention to it", - said the deputy minister.
In addition, it is expected that the Committee of Ministers on the sidelines will be a meeting of Lavrov with CoE Secretary General Jagland Turborngom.