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Russian ambassador says wrong to link Unficyp to Cyprus talks

Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy

Linking the continuing presence of Unficyp troops on the island to the resumption of negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem is unacceptable, Russian Ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy said on Sunday.

In an interview with Phileleftheros, he said it is important that the UN Security Council and its members retain a central role in the Cyprus negotiations.

Moscow’s view regarding the extension of Unficyp’s mandate remains clear and unaltered, Osadchiy said. The thoughts and reasoning that supposedly the presence of the peacekeeping forces is part of the Cyprus problem are wrong.

He said as in some places the distance between Turkish and National Guard posts is very small even the slightest confrontation can cause a great conflict between the two communities. “For this purpose, we are in favour of maintaining the basic parameters of Unficyp’s mandate until the final settlement of the Cyprus problem, and we consider it unacceptable to link its prolongation with the resumption of the negotiation process.”

The ambassador said the close ties between Russia and Turkey are not directed against any third nation and do not have any influence on Moscow’s friendly ties with Nicosia. He said Turkish and Russian officials are in regular contact and among the matters discussed in the Cyprus problem.

He said that while Moscow believes that differences over drilling blocks in the eastern Mediterranean should be solved with peaceful means and international justice, solving the Cyprus problem could also end the stand off over hydrocarbons found around the island and allow the benefits of them to be enjoyed by all Cypriots.

Osadchiy also said despite pressure that has been put on Cyprus to distance itself from Russia there still remains the possibility to work together in a number of areas. He said the Russian community on the island continues to contribute to the Cyprus economy.

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