With outright surprise we took notice of the historical overview of Russian-Cypriot relations “Russia is not the horse to bet on” (Sunday Mail, April 4). The underlying message of the article clearly shows the desire to bring bilateral relations with Russia into inter-party competition on the eve of the parliamentary elections.
The article is a model of pseudo-analysis, when individual unverified facts are taken out of historical context or distorted for the sake of the author’s sympathies or antipathies. There is no need to comment on Russia’s position of principle on Cyprus issue and Unficyp over many decades, which was highly appreciated by all presidents of the Republic, or on the speculation that Cyprus allegedly advocates Russia’s interests on Crimea within the EU, or influences the independent position of Nicosia on Kosovo. In terms of Russia’s ‘refusal’ to provide financial assistance to Cyprus in difficult times, the author omitted the fact that in 2011 Cyprus was allocated a loan of 2.5 billion euros, followed by restructuring on extremely favourable terms. He even claims that Russian businesses have an allegedly harmful influence on the island’s economy, forgetting to mention that it was Russian business that weakened the impact of the 2007-2013 global crisis on Cyprus’ economy.
Not wishing to plunge further into a mixture of very questionable accusations, we want to outline three important, in our opinion, points:
- Russia is the only country that has always supported Cyprus without any reservations and desire to receive any unilateral benefits;
- In the modern world, an attempt to “bet on one horse” or “put all eggs in one basket” is in principle counterproductive. At the same time, we firmly believe that only a short-sighted ‘expert’ or an irresponsible politician can suggest breaking traditional ties, especially with time-tested partners;
- Do not involve Russia in inter-party struggles and put in doubt the independence of political parties only on the grounds that they do not hurry to identify themselves with the far-fetched and totally baseless thesis of Russia’s ‘malign influence’ in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Russian ambassador Stanislav V. Osadchiy