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Lavrov: Cyprus guarantee system anachronistic

Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow

Cyprus settlement talks must continue based on UN Security Council resolutions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday following a meeting in Moscow with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides.

He also said the guarantee system was anachronistic.

Christodoulides is in the Russian capital to discuss the Cyprus issue, bilateral relations and those between the EU and Russia, as well as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Lavrov said his talks with Christodoulides were comprehensive and that they placed great importance on the Cyprus issue. He also said that they discussed indepth a wide range of issues on the bilateral agenda and focused on those agreed during the visit of President Nicos Anastasiades to Russia a year ago.

He also said he had gladly accepted the invitation by Christodoulides to visit Cyprus.

As regards the Cyprus problem, the Russian minister said that the existing system of guarantees was outdated and no longer corresponded to reality.

Also, the UN Security Council, he said, did not see the necessity for any changes to the Unficyp mission at the moment.

A prerequisite for securing the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus, could be the guarantees of the United Nations Security Council, Lavrov said. Russia is one of the five permanent members of the council along with the US, UK, China and France.

“We are in favour of a just, stable, viable and comprehensive solution (of the Cyprus problem),” Lavrov said. “We believe that bi-communal talks should continue on the basis of the existing UN Security Council resolutions and any changes be made by new Security Council resolutions.”

Cyprus, he said, was an important partner for Russia in Europe.

“Our multidimensional cooperation is based on traditional links of friendship and mutual sympathy, spiritual and cultural affinity and serves the task of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and throughout the European continent,” he said.

Christodoulides expressed Cyprus’ satisfaction for the longstanding stance of Russia to the Cyprus issue, in particular within the framework of the UN Security Council, the clear position for the abolition of the anachronistic system of guarantees dating from 1960, and any intervention rights conferred thereof, as well as the need to keep the presence of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus uninterrupted “for as long as this present, unacceptable state of affairs continues.”

He said he informed Lavrov about the latest developments on the Cyprus issue and conveyed Anastasiades’ readiness to continue the talks from where they left off at Crans-Montana, Switzerland in mid-2017.

Christodoulides said that he asked for the contribution of Lavrov to achieve the “non-negotiable goal” of reaching a solution on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions, European law, and the principles and values of the EU.

The review and evaluation of bilateral relations between the two countries has shown that they are at a very satisfactory level, he said. “We had the opportunity today to discuss, in particular, the prospects for their further development and agreed to work together, through concrete actions, to achieve this goal on a number of issues of common interest.”

The two ministers also discussed international and regional issues and agreed to continue contacts both bilaterally and internationally.

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