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Moscow believes Cyprus guarantees anachronistic; Anastasiades speaks with Lavrov

President Nicos Anastasiades speaks with Russian ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy on Friday at the Russian embassy where the president went to sign a book of condolences for the death of the Russian ambassador to Turkey who was gunned down earlier in the week

Moscow regards the existing system of guarantees in Cyprus as an anachronism and believes that a modern independent state does not need external guarantors, the government said on Friday.

“The most effective guarantees during the transitional period could, in Moscow’s opinion, be security guarantees provided by the UN Security Council,” according to a written statement following a phone call between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and President Nicos Anastasiades.

Lavrov talked with Anastasiades at the latter’s request.

Anastasiades, the statement said spelled out his assessment of the current stage in the ongoing negotiations on the Cypriot settlement.
“The Russian side reaffirmed its continued support of the inter-communal negotiating process to promote a lasting, viable and just solution in the interests of both communities of Cyprus. Russia will support any solution that the Cypriots themselves choose,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the government on Friday sought to downplay the fact that the Russian ambassador attended a seminar this week, organised by the five hardline parties opposing the reunification process.

“There is no issue regarding the Russian ambassador but I won’t go into details because I don’t want to create more fuss,” government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told the state broadcaster. “Foreign ambassadors must act within a framework define by diplomatic relations.”

The spokesman disclosed however, that Stanislav Osadchiy had contacted the president after Tuesday’s event to talk about his presence and what was said.

“He felt the need to contact us, not only to talk about his action, but also about many things that were said during this meeting that are not helpful to the objectives of the Republic of Cyprus,” Christodoulides said.

The seminar was organized by Diko, Edek, Solidarity, the Alliance, and the Green Party, ostensibly to brief their members about the Cyprus problem and the reunification process.

It is understood that no other ambassadors had been invited while the spokesman of two parties that took part gave different responses when asked if Osadchiy had been invited.

Speaking on Politis radio 107.6, Diko spokesman Athos Antoniades said the Russian ambassador was a serious diplomat and that he would not attempt to draw a political meaning from his presence.

Asked whether he had been invited, Antoniades said: “The Russian ambassador decided he wanted to participate after seeing the publication” about the event. “And of course, we welcomed him.”

However, on the same show, Solidarity MP Michalis Giorgallas said “the Russian ambassador was invited” as were other non-partisan guests like the bishop of Paphos.

For the record, through the seminar, the parties sought to convince people that a settlement of the Cyprus problem within the framework currently being discussed would be catastrophic.

Diko chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos said the solution was not financially viable.

“We, the Greek Cypriots will start with a debt of €17bn, which we have accumulated partly because of Turkey’s continuing occupation and we would have to repay on our own,” he said. “Turkish Cypriots on the other hand, will start the day after the solution with zero debt because Turkey will forgive it.”

Edek’s Sizopoulos, whose party declared opposition to a solution under a bi-communal, bizonal federation, claimed that it would be a victory for Turkey.

Sizopoulos said Turkey planned to control the federal state and then create a crisis aiming either to annex the entire island or to legally declare a Turkish state on the island.

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