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Moscow denies reports it will recognise the north, FM to meet Lavrov

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will hold talks in Moscow next week, the Russian foreign ministry confirmed on Thursday.

The two diplomats will exchange views on current affairs, with an emphasis on the Cyprus issue.

They are also expected to sign a number of bilateral agreements.

Meanwhile during the daily press briefing, Russian foreign ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova was asked about reports of a deal between Moscow and Ankara – where the former would ostensibly recognise the north in Cyprus as an independent country, and the latter recognize the Crimea as a Russian region.

Zakharova denied any such negotiations.

“We are accustomed to the fact that fake information is being spread by Greek and Turkish media outlets…this is related to the mythical deal that you mentioned,” she told media.

The spokeswoman said there was no equivalence between the Crimea and the north of Cyprus.

Referring to the Crimea as an integral part of the Russian Federation, Zakharova noted that Russian territory “was never, and never will be, the subject of bargaining.”

Responding to a related question from the Athens News Agency, she said the Russian Federation has a consistent position on the Cyprus issue – namely the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a single legal status and sovereignty.

Zakharova went on to explicitly reject any attempt by anyone to recognise the breakaway north in Cyprus:

“Recently we have observed an increased activity aiming at the international recognition of the illegal statelet in northern Cyprus, and we call for an avoidance of steps that could cause tension between the two communities.

“We also call for an avoidance of anything that could disrupt the balance on the island.”

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