Sergey Lavrov wrapped up a visit to Cyprus where the Russian Foreign Minister attended the 127th Ministerial Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the last event under Cyprus’ chairmanship of the CoE.
Lavrov also held bilateral talks with his counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.
While holding a joint news conference with Cypriot FM Kasoulides Lavrov commented on Turkish threats in Cyprus’ EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) where large deposits of natural gas are currently being researched for development…
“All such issues and controversies should be discussed within the legal framework, with the agreement of all stakeholders.”
“In this situation, as in any such situation, there is a need for restraint from this threat of using force and from using force itself.”
Lavrov reiterated Moscow’s support for a just, lasting and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the agreements reached between the two communities.
Kasoulides said he briefed his Russian counterpart on the current state of play in the Cyprus negotiations and expressed Nicosia’s appreciation for the “unremitting principled position of the Russian Federation”.
Kasoulides said he informed Lavrov on Cyprus’ hydrocarbons exploration and exploitation programme and referred to “Turkey’s aggressive policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, which further complicate the efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem.”
Responding to a question, Kasoulides said he discussed this issue with Lavrov, but would not be drawn on the details.
“There is a common understanding that international law, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, has to prevail in all circumstances.”