MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 16. /RIA NOVOSTI / -- Russia welcomes the agreements on Cyprus settlement reached in New York by the leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus, said the Press and Information Board of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The participants in the New York meeting have agreed on the resumption of the Cyprus settlement talks under the aegis of the UN Secretary General, as well as on the formula for the negotiating process.

"As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council Russia, in cooperation with its partners and all the involved parties, is ready actively to promote the success of the talks", the Russian Foreign Ministry said. An outcome of such talks should be, Moscow believes, a fair, viable and comprehensive solution of the Cyprus question on the basis of the corresponding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

"Such a decision should be a result of a voluntary accord between the Cyprus parties with assistance from the UN Secretary General in keeping with the goodwill mission entrusted on him by the Security Council", said the Russian ministry.

At the meeting in New York, after long discussion both the parties have adopted the plan for the further negotiating process on the reunification of Cyprus, proposed by the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan.

The new version of the project outlines a procedure for further negotiations regarding details of the Cyprus reunification accord.

The next round of talks will begin in Nicosia on February 19. There, the leaders of the Greek and Turkish communities will try to reach agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue by forming a united confederation.

In case the agreement is reached before the end of March, in April the two communities will hold referendums on its approval and on May 1, 2004 Cyprus will be able to joint the European Union as a united state.

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