NICOSIA -- Russia will continue deepening cooperation with Cyprus in the economic and humanitarian field and participate in the quest for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in a ceremony during which Cyprus’ new Ambassador to Moscow presented his credentials.
According to an official announcement, the new Ambassador of the Republic to the Russian Federation Georgios Casoulides was one of many foreign ambassadors who presented Wednesday his credentials to Putin, in a ceremony at the Kremlin.
In his speech during the presentation of credentials, President Putin described the main pillars of Russian foreign policy, noting its priorities, and outlined the principled positions of the Russian Federation in the international arena.
Referring particularly to Cyprus, he said that relations with the Republic traditionally developed in a friendly tone.
“We will continue in the future to contribute to the deepening of bilateral cooperation in the economic and humanitarian field and participate in the quest for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem," he said.
In a brief conversation after the ceremony, the new Cypriot Ambassadors thanked President Putin for the strong support of Russia in addressing the economic crisis in Cyprus.
Excluded from international capital markets since April 2011, Cyprus applied for financial assistance from the EU bailout mechanism, as its two largest banks, Bank of Cyprus (BoCY) and Cyprus Popular Bank (also called Laiki Bank) requested state support following mass losses as a result of the Greek sovereign debt haircut.
The aid package from the Troika featured a sizeable reduction of the island`s banking sector, as well as bail-in of uninsured deposits. Under the package agreed in March, Cyprus closed one bank, the Popular, whereas deposits over 100,000 euro held at the island’s biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus, lost 47.5% of their value, after being converted into bank shares.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated UN-led efforts over the past decades have not led to a negotiated settlement in Cyprus. Talks are expected to resume in the coming weeks.