Russia has rejected as “absurd” suggestions that it was obstructing reunification talks but reiterated that efforts to achieve a settlement at all costs was unacceptable.
Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the anti-Russia allegations were a smokescreen designed to hide problems, such as the island’s external security issues, that had to be addressed as part of a settlement.
“It is disappointing that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are not involved in the discussion of these issues,” Zakharova said. “It is obvious that the system of guarantees that was forced on Cyprus under the 1960 London and Zurich agreements is ineffective.”
The spokeswoman said Moscow was convinced Cyprus’ territorial integrity post-reunification could be guaranteed by the UN Security Council.
“As for the absurd allegations about Russia’s attempts to hinder the intra-Cyprus talks, there are no facts to support them.”
Zakharova said Russia’s position on Cyprus remained unchanged, favouring a comprehensive, fair and viable settlement.
“We regard as unacceptable any attempts to use external influence to artificially accelerate the process and achieve a settlement at all costs.”
She said Russia was successfully developing relations with the Republic in various spheres, “and we believe that our relationship will continue after the island’s reunification. We know about the Cyprus leaders’ resolve to gradually strengthen cooperation with Russia.”
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be arriving in Cyprus on Thursday for a two-day working visit.
Lavrov will take part in the events concluding Cyprus’ presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.
His programme includes a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades and talks with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
The talks will cover a broad range of bilateral, international and regional issues, with particular focus on the reunification process.
Financial and economic ties are among the key areas of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. Cyprus is one of the main channels of foreign investment into the Russian economy.