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Kasoulides on a working visit to Moscow on Monday

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides,

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides will be in Moscow on Monday for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

The visit takes place in the context of Cyprus` chairmanship of the Council of Europe between November 2016 and May 2017. The two ministers will discuss, inter alia, the Cyprus issue, regional and international issues and bilateral ties.

According to the Russian foreign ministry website, Russian-Cypriot relations are developing in the traditional atmosphere of friendship. “Minister Kasoulides’ visit to Russia will, without doubt, help strengthen cooperation and bring our countries and peoples closer together,” it said.

“Constant contact is maintained between the two countries in various spheres. There are regular exchanges of opinions on current issues of bilateral relations, as well as European and regional affairs,” it added.

During the talks the two ministers will address the priorities of the Cypriot chairmanship at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe from November 22, 2016 through to May 2017. Lavrov and Kasoulides will also touch on a wide range of bilateral and international matters and exchange opinions on Russia-EU relations.

They will consider the Cyprus settlement process and the situation around Syria and the Middle East as a whole, among other things.

“The positions of Russia and Cyprus on many issues are identical or similar. Both countries advocate a return to constructive engagement between Russia and the EU and strengthening the central role of the UN in international relations as a universal institution for the maintenance of peace and security,” the press statement said.

According to the press release, as a result of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions and Russian countermeasures, trade and economic cooperation between Cyprus-Russia had declined and both countries are looking for ways of rectifying the situation.

The Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation and the Business Council on Cooperation with Cyprus are making a significant contribution to this effort and work is in progress to implement the decisions of the Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Commission, which took place in April in Moscow, is added on the press release. The next meeting of the Commission is to take place in Nicosia in 2017.

According to the Bank of Russia, as of January 1, 2016, Cypriot accumulated direct investment in the Russian economy was $94.5 billion, while Russian investment in the Cypriot economy was $92.2 billion. In the press release is also added that as of late June 365,000 Russian tourists had visited the Republic of Cyprus.

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