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Russia requests use of Cyprus airbase

Cyprus has agreed in principle to grant a Russian request for use of a military airbase in Paphos, it emerged on Saturday.

Moscow has filed an official request to be allowed use of the Andreas Papandreou base, reports said.

Speaking on state radio, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the request will be treated in the same way as with other friendly countries.

Facilities at the base will be granted to Russian military aircraft in cases of emergency and under conditions that will be agreed, Kasoulides said.

The facilities will not be granted on a permanent basis, reports said.

The agreement will not grant Russia more facilities than those afforded to other countries, the minister said.

Russia has already secured facilities for its warships in Cypriot ports.

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