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Cyprus

Russian military base in Cyprus not discussed, top diplomats say

President Anastasiades visiting a Russian carrier that docked in Limassol port in March 2014

Moscow and Nicosia did not discuss the possibility of setting up a Russian military base in Cyprus the countries’ top diplomats said on Monday.

Following a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides was quoted by Russia’s Tass news agency as saying: “I don’t think this was discussed by the representatives of government circles.”

“Real life showed that Russia can come to Syria without any bases,” Kasoulides, who is on a working visit to Moscow, said. He was asked by reporters how the island could help Moscow fight international terrorism.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed Kasoulides, according to Tass.

“We have discussed nothing of the kind. In principle, the vessels of the Russian Navy use the ports of Cyprus, but without any special services.” Lavrov said. “I don’t remember that this issue has been ever discussed between the Republic of Cyprus and us.”

The Russian diplomat said the country’s bases in Syria were enough.

The two countries already have an agreement allowing Russian warships to dock at the ports of Limassol and Larnaca.

Russia, which is an ally of Syria’s president Bashar Al Assad, has since 1971, maintained a naval base in Tartus in Syria, which is in its fifth year of civil war. It also has military facilities in Hmeymim.

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