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Russia to Start Consular Services in Occupied Cyprus

Nicosia, Cyprus
The Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus Murat Zyazikov said that this decision “does not have any political overtones.” Credit: Petros3 / CC BY-SA 3.0 / Wikimedia Commons

The Russian Embassy in Cyprus will soon start providing consular services in the occupied Turkish part of the island. Services are intended to be available in the northern Turkish-occupied part of the city of Nicosia, the Russian news agency TASS reported, with reference to the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus Murat Zyazikov.

Zyazikov said that this decision “does not have any political overtones” and “is dictated solely by humanitarian considerations.” He also added that the work will be carried out on a regular basis.

The representative of the embassy also explained this decision by pointing to the fact that not all Russian citizens can “get to the southern part of the island.” It was added that “there is obviously no question of any recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

Zyazikov stressed that Russia “continues to adhere to a principled position, consistently advocating a comprehensive, viable and fair settlement within the well-known international legal framework, enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.”

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Theodoros Gotsis said an investigation was connected to a possible Russian presence in the occupied territories to provide consular assistance.

Russians in Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

With current estimations placing the number of Russians residing in Turkish-occupied Cyprus at over fifty thousand, the demand for real estate among this demographic group is on the rise, as noted by Russian Forbes. At the same time, interest in buying a house from Russians quadrupled in January to June compared to the same period in 2022.

Speaking about the reasons for such interest, the publication noted that occupied Cyprus has become an alternative to the much more expensive Turkish real estate, as well as one of the few places in Europe where the purchase of real estate is still available for Russians.

US Congressman’s Visit to Turkish-Occupied Cyprus

Earlier this month, Cyprus vehemently criticized US Congressman Pete Sessions’ visit to Turkish-occupied Cyprus, deeming it a breach of international law and a departure from the US official stance.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement called Sessions’ choice deliberate, disregarding UN Security Council resolutions and serving undisclosed motives. The ministry noted that due to Sessions’ history with Turkey, preventing the visit wasn’t feasible.

Cyprus maintains direct communication with the US, founded on their cooperation and unchanged position of the US aligned with international law. Sessions, a Texas Republican, became the first American politician to land at Ercan Airport, invited by the Turkish-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce after his prior visit to Turkey.

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