The longstanding ties between the nations of Russia and Cyprus are robust and can withstand any “temporary adventures,” the Russian ambassador to Cyprus said on Thursday.
“I’d like to stress that the people of Cyprus were, are, and will always remain friendly with us. These are not just words,” Murat Zyazikov said in a translation of comments he made to Tass, Russia’s state-run news agency.
“The friendship between our two peoples is based on mutual feelings of affinity between common people, on the close historic, spiritual and cultural relations between our two countries over centuries.
“I don’t think that any temporary political adventures can hurt this friendship,” added Zyazikov, evidently alluding to the diplomatic fallout from the conflict in Ukraine and the EU sanctions on Russia – in which Nicosia participates.
The Russian ambassador said he has met with new Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos, with whom he had a “long and constructive discussion. We retain a positive attitude in terms of building balanced relations with the new president of Cyprus, under the circumstances.”
Zyazikov, appointed ambassador to Cyprus in September 2022, added that he hopes to meet soon with President Nikos Christodoulides who, as he said, “is well known to the Russian side from his stint as Cyprus’ chief diplomat.”
The ambassador acknowledged that EU sanctions on Moscow have had an adverse impact on bilateral ties between Russia and Cyprus.
“It sounds paradoxical, but Cypriot businesses have also suffered as a result of the European sanctions,” he noted.
Zyazikov went on to recall that in 2021 Russian tourists were top of the list of visitors to the island, bringing hundreds of millions into the Cypriot economy.
“The same can be said of the contribution of Russian companies in the sectors of banking, construction, shipping and services. But I would not go so far as to say that cooperation has ceased completely.”