En­voy: It’s wrong to link Un­fi­cyp to talks

Cyprus Today - - SOUTH CYPRUS -

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.

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