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Putin: Russia Supports Viable Settlement of Cyprus Dispute Within Framework of International Law

© AP Photo / Petros KaradjiasGreek, left, and Cyprus' flags, second left, flutter on poles in the south, as in the north Turkish occupied area, a Turkish and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags fly on a minaret of the Selimiye mosque, or Cathedral of St Sophia, or Agia Sofia, in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, April 26, 2021
Greek, left, and Cyprus' flags, second left, flutter on poles in the south, as in the north Turkish occupied area, a Turkish and Turkish Cypriot breakaway flags fly on a minaret of the Selimiye mosque, or Cathedral of St Sophia, or Agia Sofia, in divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Monday, April 26, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.12.2021
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The Mediterranean Sea island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third after Greek Cypriot nationalists attempted to unite the country with Greece, to the horror of the island's Turkish residents.
Russia supports a viable settlement of the Cyprus dispute within the framework of international law, Russian president Vladimir Putin has said.

"With regard to the Cyprus problem, we once again reaffirmed the Russian side's support for the search for a comprehensive, fair and viable settlement within the international legal framework established by United Nations Security Council resolutions and providing for the creation in Cyprus of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single international legal status," Putin said, speaking to reporters on Wednesday following talks with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Russia's position to the Cyprus issue roughly matches that of the European Union, which similarly proposes a unified state, and rules out any solution based on the coexistence of two separate states.
In recent years, Cyprus has been stuck in the middle of a major regional dispute over gas drilling rights involving Turkey, Greece, and the European Union. At the same time, Turkey does not recognize Cyprus's statehood and established a so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" on the island's northeastern third in 1983, nine years after the 1974 invasion. Turkey is the only country to recognise Northern Cyprus, and has recently pushed for a permanent two-state solution to the Cyprus dispute.
Flag of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the hills above Cyprus' capital Nicosia. - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.07.2021
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Russia and Cyprus maintain extensive economic ties, with Russian investment on the island constituting as much as 25 percent of all bank deposits and a third of all foreign investments in the early 2010s, and the island seen as a major offshore tax haven for wealthy Russians and oligarchs.
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