01 April 2014 13:20

Russia understands that Cyprus is part of the European Union and must act accordingly but relations between Nicosia and Moscow have been and hopefully will continue to be ‘especially warm’.
This is what Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy (photo) said yesterday after talks with ruling Disy leader Averof Neophytou focusing on the Crimea crisis and the Cyprus problem.
Last week, Cyprus voted against Russia in the UN over the Ukraine crisis.
“We fully comprehend and understand that Cyprus – on the one hand – is part of the European family and acts within that framework,” the ambassador said.
“But on the other hand, relations between Cyprus and Russia have been especially warm, relations that we have supported up until now and hopefully we will continue to support in the future,” he added.
Osadchiy also said that he believes the Crimea crisis will de-escalate, and referred to the four-hour long meeting on Sunday in Paris between the US and Russian foreign ministers.
Russia’s Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry discussed suggestions for de-escalating the crisis.
As for Neophytou, he praised the strong economic and bilateral relations between Cyprus and Russia and welcomed the Lavrov-Kerry meeting.
“We repeated to the ambassador how much we respect Russia, a country which Cyprus has very friendly relations and strong economic ties with.”
“We called on the ambassador to understand that Cyprus has to respect collective decisions taken by the European bloc.”
Cyprus depends heavily on Russian tourism and substantial capital from the vast country is deposited in local banks.


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