Russia is ready to support a solution agreed by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, its ambassador to Cyprus said, and the United Nations Security Council could provide the guarantees for a peaceful arrangement.
In an article in Sunday’s Phileleftehros, Stanislav Osadchiy warned that outside pressure and imposing recipes for an arrangement that would ultimately serve someone’s geopolitical interests, could hurt the reunification process.
Proof of that was the rejection by Greek Cypriots of the so-called Annan plan in 2004, the Russian ambassador said.
“Russia is prepared to support a form of settlement of the Cyprus problem that Cypriots themselves would agree with,” he wrote. “At the same time, we think it is important to take into full consideration the position of the Republic of Cyprus for the need to abolish the system of guarantees.”
The two sides are currently discussing the matter for the first time ever since their establishment in 1960.
Greek Cypriots want the system, which Turkey used to invade the island in 1974, abolished and all troops withdrawn. Turkish Cypriots on the other hand, want the system to remain in place, at least temporarily, until the solution is proven to work.
“A lasting basis for a peaceful arrangement in Cyprus could be the guarantees of the United Nations Security Council,” the Russian ambassador said. “As part of this, Russia, as a permanent member of the UNSG, confirms its readiness to be actively involved towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.”
Osadchiy said the two sides have been negotiating for 20 months but key issues like the guarantees remained unresolved for the time being.
However, his country would not abandon hope for further convergence between the two sides towards an effective solution of the Cyprus problem.