The final decision regarding the Cyprus dispute settlement must be made by the Cypriots themselves, without any external pressure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
"We confirmed to the President Russia's principled stand in favor of a comprehensive and just settlement in Cyprus on the basis of the resolution of the UN Security Council and the agreements of the Cypriot parties," Putin said at a joint press conference following talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in Moscow.
"We agreed to promote cooperation in the field of innovation, energy efficiency, medicine and pharmaceuticals, and discussed possible supplies of Russian aircraft and shipbuilding products. We attach great importance to direct contacts between members of our business community … Prospects in the sphere of defense industry cooperation are good as well," the statement added.
The Russian leader also noted that the trade turnover between the two countries had increased by 36 percent in the first eight months of 2017, following a decline in bilateral trade during the past three years due to the Ukrainian crisis and Russia-EU mutual sanctions.
"Cyprus is located near the Middle Eastern region. We have informed Mr. President about our efforts in the fight against terrorism in Syria. We have discussed the need to restore the Christian presence in this region. We spoke about the necessity to restore religious communities and enhance normal dialogue between them. I have informed Mr. President about the developments in the Minsk process on the settlement in Ukraine’s southeast," the Russian president said.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when the Turkish troops entered the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared in 1983 and is recognized only by Turkey while the international community considers is as a part of the Republic of Cyprus.
The talks on the reunification of the country resumed in 2014 after a two-year pause, but the sides have not been able to reach an agreement so far. The latest round of talks on the Cyprus issue under the UN aegis took place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, between June 28 and July 7.