Moscow does not want a military base in Cyprus but only services and facilities because Russia plans to make its presence felt in the turbulent Mediterranean region.
This is what new Russian ambassador Stanislav V. Osadchiy told The Cyprus Daily yesterday.
“We don’t want a military base, there is nothing new with what are discussing now with Mr (Fotis) Fotiou (Defence Minister) and the President,” the career diplomat, who presented his credentials last week, said.
“It’s a practical issue…we only want facilities to be provided and other services. Our ships stop over for supplies; anyway, it has been going on for some time now. But we are sending a diplomatic note verbally every time. If we sign an agreement on supply provisions and other conveniences offered in Limassol or Larnaca then we will simply not send a note,” he added.
If Russian aircraft need refueling, they should also be able to land at Andreas Papandreou base in Paphos.
“This is taking place with other countries too,” he also said.
Aware that the US is protesting behind closed doors, Osadchiy said they should get used to the idea that the Russians are returning to this area – with planes and ships.
“Now that we have the capability to do something more in this area, we intend to make our presence felt,” he said.