Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed on Wednesday gratitude over Cyprus` stance vis-a-vis EU sanctions against Russia.
Speaking through an interpreter, during a joint press conference with the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, at his country house, in Moscow, Putin also revealed that one of the agreements signed allows Russian vessels to dock in Cypriot ports.
This concerns our vessels that take part in international efforts to combat terrorism and piracy, the Russian President explained.
Putin said that the new agreement signed between the two countries is not aimed against anyone.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus is paying an official visit to the Russian Federation since Tuesday.
On Wednesday, eight bilateral agreements were signed between the two countries, along with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission and the Central Bank of Russia.
Moreover, an MoU was signed between the Cyprus Investment Promotion Authority (CIPA) and “Invest in Russia”.
President Anastasiades noted from his part that Cyprus was from the beginning in favour of a constructive dialogue with Russia and expressed his government`s determination to work with a view to restore the strategic cooperation between Moscow and Brussels.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, Vladimir Putin reiterated Russia`s commitment to a principled stance for a comprehensive and just Cyprus solution, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, with President Anastasiades thanking him on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus.
Replying to a question on energy he said it constitutes an important part of our cooperation.
There are prospects, we are aware of it, we know that foreign companies, American, European and Asian are working in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone, he noted. Many of our partners, he added, including the Cypriot authorities, are interested in a more active cooperation with Russian companies and assured that Russia would look into the potentials. We do not rule out that something specific will come out of this, he said, expressing his will to expand this cooperation.
On his part, replying to a question over EU sanctions against Russia, Anastasiades recalled Cyprus` position that the crisis should be resolved through diplomacy. He reiterated Cyprus` support to the territorial integrity and independence of the Ukraine and the agreements reached in Minsk. Diplomacy and not military means is the way forward, he stressed.
President Anastasiades also expressed the view that it is gradually evident to all European partners that sanctions that can be damaging to a large country such as Russia can also have negative consequences not just for Cyprus but also for many other EU countries including industrially developed ones.
In an introductory statement earlier Putin spoke about the relations between the two countries which were always friendly and mutually beneficial. “Today’s meeting fully confirmed this”, he pointed out.
Referring to the agreements signed he said that among them is a joint programme of action for 2015-2017 that aims, among other things, to promoting economic cooperation.
As regards a loan of 2.5 billion euro Russia has granted Cyprus, he said that Russia accepted the restructuring of the loan with more beneficial terms.
He added that on most of the issues he discussed with President Anastasiades “our positions coincide.” Among the issues discussed, he said, were the situation in the Middle East and the relations between Russia and the EU.
Referring to the Cyprus problem he said that “Russia adheres to a principled position for a comprehensive and just settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN Security Council resolutions.”
He added that it is important for the solution to come from the Cypriots themselves without outside intervention.
On his part, President Anastasiades said that the consultations held “have an extremely significant political and socioeconomic meaning and, aside from everything else, demonstrate the importance that Cyprus and the Russian Federation attribute to the dialogue between them and to the further deepening of their relations”.
“Relations that are not affected by strategic cooperation of one or the other country, because it is mutually understood that such choices are not directed against any third country, but to the contrary aim to strengthen further the traditional and over the years historic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Cyprus”, he stressed.
He expressed the belief, “that my visit to Moscow is a landmark for the further growth of the already excellent relations between the Russian Federation and Cyprus”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island and occupied 37% of its territory.