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07-06-2018 20:52

Address by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, at a reception on the occasion of the National Day of Russia

I am deeply honored to join you all this evening to celebrate the National Day of Russia. On this distinct occasion, we join the Russian people in honoring the new constitutional era, established with the adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on June 12, 1980.

Dear Ambassador Osadchiy, 

On behalf of the Government and the people of Cyprus, please convey to President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev my heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes for further progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Russia.

This festiveday provides also the opportunity to reflect on the long-standing historic, cultural and religious partnership between Cyprus and Russia, as well as the deep-rooted friendship between our two peoples.

Year by year we witness the development of closer bonds, as well as an extensive partnership in an ever increasing array of fields such as trade, economy, investments, technology, innovation, education and tourism.

Further, in recent years, an unprecedented number of high level visits have taken place between our two countries and I am pleased to observe that there is a great momentum and joint resolve by both sides to further enhance our partnership.

With this in mind, I wish to assure you Ambassador Osadchiy of my personal commitment and determination to continue working closely with you and the Government of the Russian Federation, in order not only to develop even further this solid partnership for the mutual benefit of our two countries and people, but to also explore new areas potential cooperation, to the benefit of our countries and people.

At the same time, a common goal remains to intensify even more our dialogue and cooperation on regional matters, with emphasis on the area of the Eastern Mediterranean towards the aim of achieving stability, security and lasting peace. And it goes without saying that Russiaʼs contribution, cooperation and involvement is imperative for the effective resolution of geopolitical challenges.

I feel obliged to yet again refer to the Russian community residing in Cyprus, since it constitutes a fundamental pillar of the increasingly stronger and deeper relationship we are witnessing.

As I have recently stated at the 13th Cyprus – Russian Festival and I quote: “We value immensely this aspect of our relations and the natural affinity shared between Cypriots and Russians, as they constitute a symbolic emblem of our relations which have proven resilient and durable even when tried and tested”.

At the same time, Cyprus has been the preferred tourist destination for more than 800.000 Russians in 2017, a number equal to the entire population of our island, while for many Cypriots our ties with Russia extend beyond business and entrepreneurial activities, embracing strong interpersonal links.

I would like to take this opportunity to brief you in short, as I occasionally do with Ambassador Osadchiy, on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

As you are well aware, the outcome of last yearʼs Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, despite the submission by our side of comprehensive and written proposals in line with the framework presented by the UN Secretary General, was not the one the Greek Cypriot side, and myself, expected.

Unfortunately, in stark contrast to the framework presented by the UN Secretary General at the Conference, Turkeyʼs insistence on its traditional positions on maintaining the Treaty of Guarantee, the right of intervention and a permanent presence of Turkish troops in reunited Cyprus did not allow us to yield any positive results.

Our unwavering goal, as indicated through the proposals we submitted at the Conference in Crans Montana, is to reach a viable, functional and lasting settlement, fully in line with international and EU law, that will reunite Cyprus in a truly independent and sovereign state and which will fully embody common prosperity and peaceful co-existence for all its citizens.

To this end, in anticipation of a potential visit of a special envoy of the UN Secretary General with the aim to hold deliberations and consultations with all relevant parties in order to establish the way forward, I would like to reiterate, yet again, my strong commitment to immediately engage in a new dialogue and negotiate a solution within the framework set by the Secretary General, the relevant UN resolutions and the EU values and principles.

Of course, in turn this implies that my determination should be reciprocated, while at the same time Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side should refrain from any illegal actions or any unacceptable positions and demands that will not be conducive to resuming the process.

Taking this opportunity I wish to once more stress the appreciation of the Government and the people of Cyprus to Russiaʼs long-standing principled stance on the Cyprus problem and its support to our efforts to reunify Cyprus and its people. I would also like to personally thank Ambassador Osadchiy for his sincere interest and expressed commitment to a fair and enduring settlement.

In this respect, I am of the strong belief that the Russian Federation as a Permanent Member of the Security Council could assume a more active role as regards the external dimension of the settlement and the new security arrangements which would exclude the existing anachronistic ones.

Before concluding, I kindly ask once more Ambassador Osadchiy to convey to President Putin my best wishes and respect as regards the National Day of Russia and as we are only a week away from the opening game of the World Cup that will take place in Russia, please also convey my best wishes for every success in organizing and hosting the forthcoming World Cup.

It is truly an honor for Russia, and at the same time a huge responsibility, to host the biggest football event to be watched by millions of people, including, of course, myself.

In closing, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in raising our glasses to the prosperity of the people of the Russian Federation and to the friendship between our nations.