Cyprus Mail

Anastasiades to ask Lavrov for clarifications on direct flights to the north (Update 1)

a security guard stands in front of the ercan airport
Tymbou (Ercan) airport

President Nicos Anastasiades will raise the issue of the reported direct flights to the north from Russia that emerged on Tuesday during his scheduled meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

The first flight, according to a report published on Turkish newspaper Miliyet on Tuesday, will take place on November 15, the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence and the day the new airport will be inaugurated.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be on the first flight, Milliyet reported, describing the development as a diplomatic victory for the ‘TRNC’ and Turkey, and claiming this would pave the way for the recognition of the pseudo-state.

On the same topic, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said he has no information regarding possible plans to launch direct flights from Russia to the north.

Speaking to CNN Turk on Tuesday night, Tatar commented on reports emerged earlier in the day in Turkey’s Miliyet newspaper, that, quoting diplomatic sources, claiming that the government of the Russian Federation has given its approval to direct flights from Russia to Ercan airport in the occupied north.

“I do not have specific information on the matter,” Tatar said. “I also became aware of it from the press. However, I know several airlines have expressed their interest in the past.

“That said, I do not know what Russia’s plans in this regard are.”

Tatar then added that the situation regarding possible direct flights from Russia to the north could change at any time.

“There are a lot of Russian people living here (in the north),” he said. “They also have a very good relations with Turkey. However, the war in Ukraine and the consequent sanctions imposed on Russia are changing all political landscapes.”

The Republic’s government called the reports published in Miliyet ‘detached from reality’

Responding to the reports, deputy government spokesperson Niovi Parissinou told Cyprus Mail: “The only thing I can say right now is that there is no official update concerning the matter. When there is something official it will be dealt with accordingly. The ministry of foreign affairs and other competent authorities are monitoring developments as well.”

Moreover, Anastasiades will also ask the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to clarify his action plan for the appointment of a special envoy to the island, who will prepare the ground for the resumption of talks on the Cyprus problem.

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