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Russia Dismisses Reports of Recognizing Occupied Northern Cyprus

northern cyprus occupied russia
Varosha is the once-thriving resort town that has been a fenced-off no-man’s-land since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 1974. Credit: Rena Choplarou/Greek Reporter illustration

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has dismissed reports that Moscow is negotiating a potential recognition of occupied Northern Cyprus.

Maria Zakharova indicated that Moscow and Ankara are not negotiating the mutual recognition of Crimea as a Russian republic and Northern Cyprus as an independent state.

“We are accustomed to the fact that fake information is being spread by Greek and Turkish media. This is the source of the fake deal that you mention,” she told media. The spokeswoman said there was no equivalence between Russia’s Crimea and northern Cyprus.

Zakharova clarified that “such fantasies disorient international public opinion, undermine trust and generate negative emotions.” She also expressed Moscow’s opposition to Turkey’s efforts for international recognition of the political entity in occupied Cyprus.

“Russia’s Cyprus policy consistent”

She added that a unified Cyprus should also have a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, and a single international identity, saying “We support the efforts made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to resume talks between the two Cyprus communities”.

Referring to the Crimea as an integral part of the Russian Federation, Zakharova noted that Russian territory “was never, and never will be the subject of bargaining.”

The Russian spokeswoman described as not only “wrong”, but “dangerous” such language, which draws parallels between Crimea and Cyprus. “Such fantasies disorient the international public opinion. They undermine trust and generate negative feelings, including as regards to a potential Cyprus settlement”.

Responding to a related question from the Athens News Agency, she said the Russian Federation has a consistent position on the Cyprus issue, namely, the establishment of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a single legal status and sovereignty.

Meanwhile, it was announced that the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Russia, Nikos Christodoulidis and Sergey Lavrov, will hold talks in Moscow on October 21.

Zakharova noted that the two ministers will exchange views on topical regional matters, focusing on the Cyprus issue. Moreover, she said that a number of bilateral documents are expected to be signed between the two countries.

Biden warns Turkey over Russian missiles

The speculative reports came after a consistent rapprochement between Russia and Turkey during the past year. The two countries have been in negotiations about military equipment and missiles, which Turkey needs for its defense.

The negotiations have resulted in the worsening of US – Turkey relations, which had already gone cold even before Joe Biden was elected president. Biden has been critical of Turkish President Erdogan’s authoritarian policies.

Biden had expressed his views on Turkey in an interview just after he announced his candidacy for the Democratic ticket in 2020. He has stayed true to his views on Ergogan, turning them into official US policies after he entered the White House.

Thursday’s defense agreement between Greece and the US, signed in Washington, is further proof of the administration’s Mediterranean policy. It was seen as a nail in the coffin of Turkish – US relations by Ankara.


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