11 January 2014 18:55

Cyprus is allowing Russian military aircraft to use the Andreas Papandreou military airbase near Paphos, as well as opening Limassol port to its naval vessels.
The Russian government had asked for permanent places at the airbase for military purposes.
Official sources confirmed newspaper reports on the decision to the Cyprus Weekly.
Defence minister Fotis Fotiou submitted a proposal, in agreement with the Foreign Ministry, that initial use of the base will be limited to aircraft for humanitarian and emergency situations. The Russian air force will not be allowed to use storage facilities at the base.
Following the Cabinet’s decision to give the go-ahead, Fotiou said the Paphos airbase was part of a plan for the country’s armed forces and highlighted the importance of maintaining the growing geostrategic and geopolitical importance of Cyprus which can play a stabilising role in the region.
The use of the airbase as well as the docking of Russian naval vessels at Limassol port were discussed at meetings held in Moscow between the Cyprus Defence and foreign ministers and their Russian counterparts in May and June 2013.


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