02:51 GMT +323 June 2017
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    Russian Navy's anti-aircraft ship Admiral Panteleyev (R) is moored during a port call in Limassol, Cyprus. File photo.

    The Russians Are Coming? Cypriots Want Russian Military Base

    © AFP 2017/ YIANNIS KOURTOUGLOU
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    A Cypriot Orthodox human rights center petitioned the republic’s President Nicos Anastasiades to consider establishing a Russian military base on the island, according to media reports.

    Marius Fotiu, head of the organization, pointed out that Cyprus is the closest EU member-state to Syria so the probability of terrorist attacks in the country is extremely high. Activists asked Anastasiades to “invite units of Russian Aerospace Forces and Navy to Cyprus territory,” according to Izvestia newspaper.

    The activists believe that NATO’s attempts to combat terrorism have not yielded any tangible results while Russia time and again has upheld the principles of peacekeeping, justice and freedom in Europe, Izvestia adds.

    The human rights center has already started collecting signatures for the initiative, though the probability of establishing a Russian military base in Cyprus, a country that seeks NATO membership, is relatively low.

    On September 30, Russian military aircraft began executing precision strikes against ISIL forces in Syria at the behest of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Since the beginning of the airborne campaign Russian aircraft have carried out over 2,000 sorties, destroying about 3,000 ISIL targets and eliminating hundreds of militants.

    The warships of Russia's Caspian Flotilla have also launched a series of cruise missile strikes against ISIL assets in Syria.

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    Tags:
    petition, military base, Russian Navy, Russian Aerospace Forces, Nicos Anastasiades, Cyprus
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