Envoy: It’s wrong to link Unficyp to talks
LINKING the continuing presence of Unficyp troops on the island to the resumption of negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem is unacceptable, Russian Ambassador to the South Stanislav Osadchiy said on Sunday.
In an interview with Greek Cypriot daily Phileleftheros, Mr Osadchiy said it is important that the UN Security Council and its members retain a central role in the Cyprus negotiations.
Moscow’s view regarding the extension of Unficyp’s mandate remains clear and unaltered, Mr Osadchiy explained. The thoughts and reasoning that suggest that the presence of the UN peacekeeping forces is part of the Cyprus problem are wrong.
Mr Osadchiy said that because in some places of the island the distance between Turkish and Greek Cypriot National Guard posts is very small even the slightest confrontation can cause a great conflict between the two communities.
“For this purpose, we are in favour of maintaining the basic parameters of Unficyp’s mandate until the final settlement of the Cyprus problem, and we consider it unacceptable to link its prolongation with the resumption of the negotiation process,” he said.
The ambassador said the close ties between Russia and Turkey are not directed against any third nation and do not have any influence on Moscow’s friendly ties with South Nicosia. He said Turkish and Russian officials are in regular contact and among the matters discussed is the Cyprus problem.
Mr Osadchiy said that while Moscow believes that differences over drilling blocks in the eastern Mediterranean should be solved with peaceful means and international justice, solving the Cyprus problem could also end the stand-off over hydrocarbons found around the island and allow the benefits of them to be enjoyed by all Cypriots.
Mr Osadchiy also said despite pressure that has been put on South Cyprus to distance itself from Russia there still remains the possibility to work together in a number of areas. He said the Russian community on the island continues to contribute to the Greek Cypriot economy.