On the “Special” Nature of the Russia–Cyprus Relationship

22 june 2017

Costas Melakopides - Associate Professor of International Relations (ret.), University of Cyprus

Resume: Most Greek Cypriots bestow gratitude on Moscow, for its prolonged, consistent, and multi-layered protection of their Republic, through diplomatic, political, economic and “psychological” support.

Most Greek Cypriots bestow gratitude on Moscow, for its prolonged, consistent, and multi-layered protection of their Republic, through diplomatic, political, economic and “psychological” support. The Russian Federation also knows it can count on Cyprus on a number of scores, because of sharing both interests and many principles and values. Thus, this essay will begin by surveying schematically the reasons for the Greek Cypriots’ gratitude to Moscow. Then, it will show why most Cypriots are eager to see Moscow’s involvement in settling the future of their country that remains semi-occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Finally, it will record the grounds for Russia’s fruitful cooperation with an Island-state located strategically at the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean.

A Bird’s-eye View of Moscow’s Cyprus Policies

Even before the creation of the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) in1960, Moscow could defend the rights of the Greek Cypriot (G/C) majority, by supporting Greece’s efforts to achieve the self-determination of Cyprus at the United Nations in the early 1950s, against London’s and Washington’s orchestrated opposition. Subsequently, the most remarkable instances of Soviet/Russian support for Cypriot rights and needs include Moscow’s critical protection of the ROC through Security Council Resolution 186 of March 1964, which established the unchallenged legitimacy of the Nicosia administration; Nikita Khruschev’s effective warnings against Ankara’s threatened invasion in summer 1964; proven Soviet willingness to provide Cyprus military hardware to cope with Turkey’s bellicosity; diachronic denunciation of all proposals to partition the Island-state; persistent calls for an international conference on settling the Cyprus problem according to international law; unqualified condemnation of the 1983 unilateral declaration of independence by the secessionist regime of Turkey-occupied Cyprus; the signing of over 50 Treaties, Protocols and Memoranda of Understanding on manifold forms of cooperation between Moscow and Nicosia, from the 1980s to the present; Moscow’s readiness to sell Cyprus the S-300 missile system and to dispatch naval units to protect the missiles’ delivery; the April 2004 Security Council Russian veto—Moscow’s first in 10 years- against the UN Secretariat’s unethical designs before the referenda on the “Annan plan”; Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s positive declarations regarding the special relationship between the Russian Federation and the ROC; the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokespersons’ sustained readiness to declare friendship and support for the Republic whenever required; Dmitry Medvedev’s assurances to the Cypriots, during his 2010 official Nicosia visit, that Moscow’s established Cyprus policy will remain steadfast; and strong official Russian statements in late 2011 supporting Nicosia’s right to search for hydrocarbons in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), when Turkey had embarked on yet another round of “gunboat diplomacy”.

President Vladimir Putin’s additional Cyprus-related decisions include the desperately needed loan of 2.5 billion euros in 2011; the improvement of the loan’s terms in 2013 at considerable cost to the Russian Federation; Mr. Putin’s explicit assurances to President Nicos Anastasiades that Moscow condemns Turkey’s illegal provocations at Cyprus’ EEZ of October 2014 and renews its solid support to the Republic; and Russia’s multidimensional support to Cyprus as contained in the 11 significant agreements signed between Presidents Putin and Anastasiades during the latter’s 24–27 February 2015 official visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In a recent book on Russia-Cyprus relations 3, I have elaborated on all these decisions and actions. Needless to say, the Soviet Union’s special relations with Cyprus were also premised on the Cold War antagonism and the opportunities provided to Moscow by Washington and London’s colossal diplomatic errors and numerous political crimes and sins. Therefore, the resulting Cypriot gratitude must be conceived in tandem with the GCs’ sentiments vis-à-vis the UK and the US. But even after the end of the Cold War, Washington and London retained their momentum to treat the Republic of Cyprus almost exclusively as “a strategically important piece of real estate3. Contrariwise, the Russian Federation’s Cyprus-related decisions and actions demonstrated not only “pragmatic” policies serving its various interests but also the “idealist” qualities of respect for international law and international ethics.

The authentic exhibition of “idealism” combined with “pragmatism” on Russia’s part necessitated the first normative analysis of the bilateral relationship, as against all previous analyses that (wrongly) assumed Realpolitik only. My book’s normative analysis could also utilize telling statements and actions by such popular Russian ambassadors to Nicosia, as Georgi Muradov, Vyacheslav Shumskyi, and Stanislav Osadchyi. All of them emphasized the cultivation of multiple mutual interests, the special Russian-Cypriot bonds of friendship, and the celebration of the common ethical, cultural and “spiritual” values of the two peoples 3. In this way, they kept echoing Sergei Lavrov’s favourite tripartite synthesis at the heart of Russia-Cyprus relations: “Russia is interested in close and fruitful cooperation with Cyprus on the basis of sincere friendship, mutual sympathy and common interests4. To capture and illuminate this synthesis, my book has adopted the term “Pragmatic Idealism” 5.

A Brief Note on the “Cyprus problem”

Moscow’s sustained defense of the Republic of Cyprus’s rights constitutes the primary source of the G/Cs’ gratitude. Given, however, that the nature of the “Cyprus problem” has been frequently distorted by self-serving propaganda; and because all readers cannot be fully tutored in its essential features; it is logically –and politically- required to clarify the nature of the problem by recalling some fundamental propositions. The following brief account will suffice to demonstrate that whereas Washington, Ankara, and London violated repeatedly international law and international ethics vis-à-vis Cyprus, Moscow won the moral high ground by employing various legal and ethical measures to protect the Republic.

What differentiates the two handlings of the problem is that Moscow keeps treating it as an international problem of invasion, occupation, and violation of human rights, whereas Washington and London pretend that the problem is, essentially, a “psychological” bi-communal conflict. Manifestly, therefore, Moscow’s correct conception is founded on the principles and values of international law and international ethics whereas the contrary view evades these principles and values aiming, inter alia, at exculpating Turkey.

Exploiting a coup d’etat of a still obscure origin perpetrated by the Athens junta—a regime inspired if not created, but then tolerated and openly assisted, by Washington and NATO–Turkey invaded Cyprus twice in the summer of 1974 and occupied 37% of its territory 6. Ankara’s attempted rationalizations were universally rejected. Therefore, the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, imposed by Turkey on the occupied territory, remains unrecognized by the entire world—except for Turkey. For 43 years, the illegality has solidified a political and ethical tragedy, since the military occupation constitutes a blatant violation of elementary human rights, primarily of the overwhelming, G/C, majority. Moreover, since Cyprus became an EU-member-state in 2004, Turkey’s occupation of Cypriot territory amounts to occupation of EU territory. Given, however, the stark asymmetry in population, size of territory and geo-economic significance between Cyprus and Turkey, the latter has been favored by the “international community” (including the United Nations, Washington, London, and lately the European Union) in their efforts to “resolve” the Cyprus problem. Hence, the notorious “Annan plan”, engineered by the UN Secretariat (and guided by Lord David Hanney) attempted to exculpate Turkey by “reuniting” Cyprus under manifestly unfair and unworkable conditions.

One can easily understand, therefore, why 76 percent of the G/C majority rejected the “Annan plan” in the May 2004 referendum. Now, according to that plan, should either Cypriot community reject it, it would be “null and void”. And yet, it was “revitalized” by the UN Secretariat, under Ban Ki-moon. In addition, Victoria Nuland reportedly imposed the aforementioned “resolution framework” on President Anastasiades and then Turkish Cypriot (T/C) leader Eroglu in February 2014. Thus, Cyprus’ “bi-communal negotiations” were energized yet again, but have amounted to a protracted performance akin to Political Theatre of the Absurd.

In other words, Washington and London pursue geopolitically motivated, self-serving decisions and actions, which cater also to Turkey’s parallel ambitions. Thus, they turn a blind eye to the military occupation and its inhuman consequences; and they keep devising alleged “resolution plans” that are strikingly unfair, unworkable, and therefore hostile to the rights and needs of the overwhelming Greek majority. In addition, UK, US, and UN Secretariat have openly influenced the mechanisms of the “bi-communal negotiations”. Moscow, however, remains bound by the fundamental international legal and ethical principles and norms. Characteristic, for instance, is Ambassador Muradov’s direct endorsement of Cyprus’s victimization in a July 1998 interview with T/C newspaper Kibris:

I want to tell the Turkish Cypriots openly: the recognition of an independent state, which was created in a military way with the help from the armed forces of a foreign country, regardless under what pretext this military action was done, is impossible and unacceptable for the modern world 7.

Similarly, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Andrey Nesterenko, declared during a September 2009 media briefing 8:

It goes without saying that Russia was never going to recognize the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

Apart from condemning materially—as opposed to rhetorically and theatrically—the 43-year-long occupation of 37 percent of Cypriot territory, Moscow has explicitly resisted the external imposition of artificial “resolution plans” as well as the recurring attempts to confine the “bi-communal negotiations” in restrictive time-frames 9.

Addressing Current Vicissitudes

To be sure, the very concept of “Cyprus’s bi-communal negotiations” is a multiple misnomer, for the following reasons. First, the two Cypriot parties are not equally autonomous, since the T/Cs are demonstrably dependent on Ankara for all their decisions and actions. Second, the notion of “negotiations” is contradicted by the fact that the discussions are held under the guns of the 40,000 Turkish occupation troops and Ankara’s never-ending military threats. Third, the role of the UN Secretariat in these “negotiations” constitutes a veritable international scandal. As two experts on Cyprus wrote in “Friendly Cyprus Now Needs Russia’s Voice More Than Ever” 10,

…the situation in Cyprus is worse than what one imagines, considering that America, Turkey’s staunch supporter, is calling the shots in these negotiations that are masquerading as UN-sponsored. All one has to do is check the CVs of the UN representatives (past and present) in the talks to understand who is behind these negotiations.

Fourth, Mr Espen Barth Eide, the current UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, has long been de-legitimized in Greek eyes 11, after demonstrating transparent pro-Turkey biases. Suffice it to recall his assertion that, “according to the Turkish Cypriots”, the Republic had been “usurped” by the G/Cs in 1964. Mr Eide, therefore, revealed that he ignored or considered immaterial UNSC Resolution 186/1964 which established, by clear implication, that the conflict of 1963-1964 was caused by the T/C rebellion that aimed to partition Cyprus.

And fifth, Mustafa Akinci, the present T/C leader, generated profound Greek optimism by first appearing moderate, eager for the problem’s resolution, and remarkably civil, in contrast to his predecessors. While President Anastasiades started celebrating the “common vision” shared by the “two leaders”, it soon transpired that Akinci had become, in fact, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s mouthpiece. He demonstrated thereby that his vision of a Cyprus “settlement” presupposed the satisfaction of Turkey’s extravagant demands, so that the “solution” should be tailor-made by Turkey for Turkey’s own—and not even the T/Cs’—nationalist ambitions. Incidentally, the current framework for these “negotiations” was largely shaped by Ms Victoria Nuland, who all but imposed it on the Cypriots during her February 2014 Nicosia visit. Anastasiades’ “Centrist” opposition and numerous prestigious analysts denounced immediately the (Nuland) framework as entailing the destruction of the Republic of Cyprus and rendering it a Turkish protectorate.

In its current form, the “Nuland framework” adopts the so-called “bi-zonal and bi-communal federation”. As shown in Russia-Cyprus Relations: A Pragmatic Idealist Perspective, all the reasons for the rejection of the “Annan plan” apply, a fortiori, to the new plan. For, inter alia, the new framework legitimizes explicitly the illegal and unrecognized regime of occupied Cyprus; it has allowed Mustafa Akinci to demand complete “political equality” between the two “constituent states”; it has led him to demand that all illegal settlers from Anatolia should remain as “citizens” of the T/C constituent state; in addition, the T/C side is demanding a “Rotating Presidency” in the new “Federation”, although the pre-invasion demographic composition numbered 80 % Greek Cypriots and 18 % Turkish Cypriots 12. Let us also recall that, during the December 2016 – January 2017 “negotiations” (in Nicosia, Mont Pelerin and Geneva), Ankara escalated its demands. Besides rejecting the removal of both the “guarantees” introduced in the 1959 Cypriot Constitution and of the 40,000 Turkish troops, Ankara has recently introduced another outlandish demand: that after the “resolution”, Turkey’s own citizens should enjoy in the new state the “four freedoms” of all EU citizens, “just like the Greeks of Greece do”. Needless to say, the Greeks of Greece are EU citizens whereas, of course, the Turks are not!

Having said enough already to demonstrate the absurdity (and immorality) of the imposed “Nuland framework”, the question arises why the Anastasiades government insists on pursuing such “negotiations” instead of exposing to the world the international scandal. In other words, what may explain the eagerness to succumb to a constitutional abnormality that could neither survive nor be endorsed in a referendum by the Greek Cypriots ?

Hypotheses on this matter abound: first, that Anastasiades and his associates—including the “communist” party (AKEL)—have been self-imprisoned in naive expectations leading to their untenable position; second, that the Nicosia government has been fearful that, were it to withdraw, it would lose the inevitable “blame game”, being clearly the weaker side; third, that the aficionados of “just any solution” have been hoping to rationalize post facto their defense of the (failed) Annan plan 13; finally, extreme suggestions have also surfaced to the effect that Nicosia’s leadership has been, and is being, literally blackmailed 4.

Rational Reactions

In response to Anastasiades’ flawed handling of the country’s “existential problem”, the opposition “Centrists” have demanded changing radically the method and content of the “negotiations”. Moreover, they insist that -besides the omni-present UK and US- Russia should be mobilized. This insistence has been more pronounced by Social Democratic EDEK, by the “Citizens’ Alliance”, and by the Ecologists. Similar calls, however, have been expressed by the “patriotic” political movement “Solidarity” and by the Democratic Party (DIKO), inherited from the late Tassos Papadopoulos 15. Incidentally, it is noteworthy that Ambassador Osadchyi has frequently met with all the aforementioned, declaring repeatedly Moscow’s commitment “to assist whenever asked”.

 

Equally important, the expectation that Moscow could, once again, come to Cyprus’s defense surfaces regularly in the work of sophisticated Nicosia columnists and editorialists. Their criticism notes that, while Anastasiades professes a commitment to excellent relations with both Washington and Moscow, he has effectively allowed the former to be “calling the shots”, despite the solid evidence that the US has undermined Cyprus’s interests and needs. A common denunciation thus becomes that the present Government tends, essentially, to appeal to Russia’s assistance primarily when forced.

Finally, what about the sentiments of civil society? Although formal opinion research on this issue has been sporadic, it is intuitively safe to suggest that, considering the principal “authors” of Cyprus’s vicissitudes, Russia was bound to be favored by most G/Cs, at least in appreciation of being the most powerful counterweight to the UK and the US. Thus, given the explicit appeals to Moscow’s positive role by analysts, opinion makers and the “Centrist” political elites, anecdotal evidence has crystallized that Greek Cypriots’ affection and hopes are certainly oriented towards Moscow 16.

 

Recent opinion research tends to verify this intuition. First, referring to a poll conducted in mid-December 2015 by Nicosia daily Simerinil, Jean Christou of Cyprus Mail noted, inter alia 7: “Almost three out of four Cypriots would welcome the provision of military facilities to Russia by Cyprus… Over half of those polled islandwide on December 16 and 17 said the government should seek closer ties with Moscow.” In addition, “Three out five said they would feel safer if there was a Russian military presence on the island… Seven out of ten Cypriots were open to offering military facilities to Russian forces fighting against terrorism, with 37 per cent going as far as saying Cyprus should give them a base” 18.

Similarly, an ongoing multidimensional project, subtitled, “Ideas for a new Security Architecture” 19, has been interviewing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on possible Cyprus “futures”. For our purposes, most revealing are the answers to the Question on “Potential Guarantor States”. Thus, while 69% of Turkish Cypriots responded that Turkey would be “satisfactory or desirable”, placing it on top, the least “satisfactory or desirable” is Russia (supported by only 10%). Russia, moreover, is voted “Unacceptable” by 68% of the responding Turkish Cypriots.

Contrariwise, Russia is favored by 53% of the Greek Cypriot respondents, who place it on top of all alternatives. Not surprisingly, Turkey is the most “unacceptable” (84%), preceded by the UK (70%) and the US (51%). In addition, while Russia is “unacceptable” to only 32% of the Greek Cypriots, 16% of them find Russia “tolerable”. Therefore, adding the latter to the 53% of “satisfactory or desirable” reaches a total of 69%, compared to a total of 49% for the US and 30% for the United Kingdom.

Russia-Cyprus Prospects

If even some of the arguments presented so far are endorsed, the bilateral prospects seem very promising indeed, in the fields of diplomacy, political cooperation, defense, trade, banking, energy, tourism, and culture. In all of them, the two countries have amassed a remarkable “pragmatic idealist” record, which exhibits a very “special” characteristic: namely, that the combination of the “pragmatic” and the “idealist” are mutually reinforced. In other words, sharing mutual benefits on the level of the two countries’ “interests” helps fortify the sharing of principles, values, friendly sentiments and associated bonds. But the same can be argued, perhaps a fortiori, the other way round. This generalization may now be illustrated concretely.

A prime example is provided by Russian tourists who flow to Cyprus in ever increasing numbers because, either by information or by prior personal experience, they expect to “feel at home” in Cyprus, being treated by the Cypriots in a “special” way. Religion, culture, historical memories, and shared values contribute to having established Russia as the second -after the UK- country of incoming tourists. Thus, at this writing, it was announced that, of the 3,186,531 tourists visiting Cyprus in 2016, 1,157,978 came from Britain, followed by 781,634 Russians (and then 160,254 Greeks) 0. The same report added that Russian (and Israeli) figures increased by 50% in 2016: the Russians visiting Cyprus in 2016 increased to 781.6 thousand from 525 thousand in 2015. Such facts could support the argument that peoples’ sentiments of reciprocal friendship and mutual affection help strengthen inter-state and inter-governmental political bonding resulting in ascending mutual benefits.

A similar argument may apply regarding the thousands of Russians who have decided to reside in Cyprus. As stated by the Editor-in- Chief of the Limassol-founded, Russian weekly Vestnik Kipra, answering the question “Why do Russians Choose Cyprus?” includes the following observations 21:

…the most important reason is people. Cypriots like Russians. Russian people feel very comfortable here…Many people say that in Cyprus they feel that they live a full life, they learn to enjoy every day.

Using figures for 2010, Ms Natalia Kardash noted that around 50,000 Russians were living in Cyprus; around 46 per cent were visitors “earning money abroad and spending it in the Republic”; Russian-speaking children number between 25,000–30,000; four Russian schools operate in the Republic; “there are more than 10 educational centers where children go in the afternoon”; and about 20 music and dancing schools use Russian as the main language 22.

While these observations and associated figures indicate the clear propensity of Russians to integrate in Cypriot society, Ambassador Georgi Muradov gave a parallel insight when interviewed in February 1999 by Russian Business and Trade Connections. Invited to comment on recent Cyprus-Russia commercial relations and their flourishing economic cooperation, he was asked “Why are Russia and Cyprus so close?” After mentioning the well-developed treaties and legal agreements between the two countries, he admitted Cyprus’s convenient location, good climate, political stability, favorable tax policy towards foreign companies “and the sophisticated banking and business infrastructure”. He then added 23:

The geographical proximity of Russia and Cyprus also plays an important role, but for us it is more important that Cyprus is a traditionally friendly country, spiritually close to us and connected by strong historical ties.

Since space could not allow expanding on relevant facts and figures, and since Russia-Cyprus Relations may be consulted to that end, we may now emphasize that the bilateral relationship - besides trade, banking, real estate, defense issues, tourism, and in cultural and “spiritual” bonds—is privileged in the political sphere. Having recorded at the outset the long list of Moscow’s decisions and actions that have generated a strong sense of security in the semi-occupied Republic, we should also recall that the Russian Federation itself has enjoyed Cyprus’s distinct support in the European Union fora.

In fact, a vulgar stereotype in the Brussels corridors of power has presented Cyprus—frequently together with Greece- as Moscow’s “Trojan Horse”. What has prompted this nonsensical notion is that Nicosia (and Athens) tend to differentiate their stance on various EU policies on Russia. For instance, the propensity to perpetuate, and even deepen, the anti-Russia sanctions has been opposed by Cyprus and Greece as irrational and counter-productive, a fact repeatedly appreciated by Moscow and its diplomatic representatives. While the grounds for the Cypriot differentiation also involve “pragmatic” considerations—such as the prohibition to sell to Russia various agricultural products—there are also “idealist” reasons. Among them, there is the profound disturbance caused by the prevention of travel by Cyprus’s committed and well-known Russian friends. But there is also the legal/ethical argument that, whereas the EU (like the US) has rushed to punish Moscow for the post-Crimea developments, it has not stood effectively against Turkey for its 43-year-long occupation of Cyprus and its inhuman implications.

Therefore, Russia can certainly treasure a grateful and faithful friend and, in Dr Nadia Arbatova’s words, a “natural ally” 24. Moreover, we may now record various additional benefits to Russia and additional dimensions of aforementioned benefits. First, the Russian Federation has clearly benefited from Cyprus being one of the top channels for massive investments. For instance, Cyprus was at the top for both 2010 and 2011. For the former year, Cyprus’s foreign direct investment to Russia reached 61,961 million US dollars, followed by the Netherlands (40,383 mln), Luxembourg (35,167 mln), Germany (27,825 mln), and the UK (21,578 mln US dollars) 25.

Second, another major benefit arises from the fact that Russia expanded via Cyprus its own economic presence within the EU, while Russian investors have acquired a strong foothold in Cypriot real estate, banking and other services.

Third, with regard to tourism, the relevant benefits are clearly mutual, since Cyprus is proud of attracting great numbers of friendly Russians, who, inter alia, inject generous funds to the Cypriot economy, while Russians can happily count on a safe and exciting destination for both general and “spiritual” tourism.

Fourth, Moscow’s diplomatic and political defense of Cypriot rights and needs amounts to idealism-generated “soft power”, strengthening Russia’s international prestige at a time of toxic propaganda against the Russian Federation and its leadership.

Finally, given the accumulated mutual benefits and pragmatic-idealist achievements, Russia can be certain to retain Cyprus’s profound political and geopolitical sympathy in view of the established Cypriot gratitude for all the reasons we have seen. This sympathy may well be capitalized by Moscow, both in the medium and longer term, but also during the current dramatic geostrategic and geo-economic fluidity marking the affairs of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. Simultaneously, given our arguments showing the clear favoritism towards Russia by the “Centrist” political forces, the like-minded opinion-makers, and large sectors of civil society, it would seem to follow that the majority of Greek Cypriots seem to regard Russia as a Counterweight-in-waiting.

I therefore venture to predict that, after the next presidential election, Nicosia’s policies could well be liberated from the asphyxiating conditions produced by the Realpolitik of Washington, Ankara, and London. This liberation will entail rational avenues for the resolution of the country’s “existential” and other problems, with the envisaged help of the Russian “natural ally” for additional pragmatic and idealist mutual benefits.

RIAC


1. Costas Melakopides, Russia-Cyprus Relations: A Pragmatic Idealist Perspective (London: Palgrave, 2016).

2. See George Ball, The Past Has Another Pattern (New York: Norton, 1982), p. 342, emphasis added.

3. For valuable such evidence, see Georgi L. Muradov, Russia-Cyprus: Our Common Way (Nicosia: M.S. Satellite Publication Ltd, n.d.).

4. “Russia Interested in Close Cooperation with Cyprus – Russian ForMin”, ITARTASS News Agency, 9 November 2011, emphasis added.

5. Since it would be hard to suppose that Moscow’s “pragmatic idealist” treatment of Cyprus could erupt ex nihilo after 1991, the book argues that during the Cold War Moscow’s decisions and actions regarding Cyprus were characterized by Latent Pragmatic Idealism.

6. For informed and persuasive analyses see, inter alia, Lawrence Stern, The Wrong Horse: The Politics of Intervention and the Failure of American Diplomacy (New York: Time Books, 1977); Christopher Hitchens, Hostage to History: Cyprus from the Ottomans to Kissinger (London and New York: Verso, 1997); Donald Payne, “The Cyprus Problem: A Need to Defend Principles”, Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 9, No 2, 1998, pp. 9-15; William Mallinson, Cyprus: A Modern History (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2005); and Perry Anderson, “The Divisions of Cyprus”, London Review of Books, Vol.30, No.8, 24 April 2008.

7. Georgi Muradov, op.cit., p. 171.

8. See “Russia-Japan: Towards Reaching a Compromise”, Russia Today website, 18 September 2009 (accessed 6 February 2013).

9. This is a leitmotiv of Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zacharova’s statements about Cyprus.

10. Aris Petasis and William Mallinson, Defend Democracy Press, 10 December 2016.

11. In addition to most Greek Cypriots, Greek Foreign Minister, Nicos Kotzias, has expressed his disappointment and anger with Mr Eide. During a late March 2017 formal speech in Nicosia, he called Mr Eide “a lobbyist for Turkish interests”. He subsequently sent a Letter to UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, exposing Eide along the same lines.

12. See Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Colonization by Turkish Settlers of the Occupied Part of Cyprus (Rapporteur Jaakko Laakso, Finland), Doc.9799, 2 May 2003.

13. The term “just any solution” is used to criticize Anastasiades and his allies because of their eagerness to bring the “negotiations” to a close at all costs, in spite of the demonstrable obstacles to a fair and viable resolution, including the bellicosity and unreliability of President Erdogan, the supreme decision-maker.

14. See John Helmer, “Anastasiades under pressure to abolish now his own state – and bring Turkey into the EU”, Defend Democracy Press, 25 January 2017.

14. Nikolas Papadopoulos, son of the late President, has recently declared his candidacy for the February 2018 presidential election, being already supported by most “Centrist” political forces.

16. For two experts who clearly share the conviction that Russia is favored by most Greek Cypriots, see Aris Petasis and William Mallinson, “Without Russia it’s only Hobson’s choice for Cyprus”, Defend Democracy Press, 10 February 2017.

17. Jean Christou, “Poll: majority would favor granting military facilities to Russia”, cyprus-mail.com, 20 December 2015.

18. Ibid.

19. See The Security Dialogue Initiative for Cyprus, commissioned by the Berghoff Foundation, Seed, and Interpeace, and written by Dr Giorgos Kentas and Dr Ilke Dagli. The respondents exceeded 3000 persons from both Communities.

20. Phileleftheros Website, “One in three tourists is British and one in four is Russian”, 6 June 2017.

21. Natalia Kardash, “Russian Community in Cyprus: Advantages and Challenges”, paper presented during the Conference, “The Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation: Past, Present and Future Challenges”, University of Nicosia, 2 November 2010, p. 1.

22. Ibid., pp. 2-4. See also Russia-Cyprus Relations, op.cit., pp. 82-84

3. Georgi Muradov, in Russia-Cyprus Relations, p. 83, italics added.

24. Nadia Arbatova concluded her own geopolitical analysis in the University of Nicosia Conference of 2 November 2010, as follows: “Russia and Cyprus are natural allies”.

25. See Russia-Cyprus Relations, p. 91.

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