The Republic of Cyprus is trying to exercise a balanced foreign policy, says Government Spokesman in view of Nicos Christodoulides’ trip to Moscow

The Republic of Cyprus is trying to exercise a balanced foreign policy, says Government Spokesman in view of Nicos Christodoulides’ trip to Moscow

Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, spoke today (Thursday) on the morning program “Breakfast Route” of the Cyprus national television, on the upcoming visit of Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides to Moscow, as well as the content of the meeting that the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, had on Wednesday, April 25, with the Executive Director of ENI.

Asked what exactly will the Foreign Minister discuss in Moscow, the Prodromou said that the cooperation between Russia and Cyprus is on multiple levels. As such, the Republic of Cyprus is trying to exercise a balanced foreign policy.

“For example, we say that the first option for resolving the crisis in Syria must be diplomatic means and not war operations. We choose this policy within the framework of our EU membership margins. Of course, in this case, we are aligning with the EU’s positions. There is neither a choice nor a different direction, we are associated with the EU’s position.

But within the margin, we have to specify our policy – and it is not a policy we are pursuing to serve either Russia or the US – [we follow] the policy that we believe serves our country’s interests [and] the wider the international interest of peaceful, normal relations, [and] in some cases, I would increasingly say, have convergence with various other policies.

In this case, we will discuss with Russia some cases that we believe the position of the Republic of Cyprus should be appreciated internationally.

The second is that we know that lately perhaps the only channel of relations for Turkey and for Erdogan is Russia and perhaps to some extent Iran. Therefore, Moscow has some room for influence and, of course, we will ask Russia for assistance. There were also statements made by the Russian Ambassador in Cyprus regarding the meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan, [during which] they might have put forward the Cyprus issue as well. In any case, the President of the Republic, on an official visit to Moscow, had asked Mr Putin to exert some pressure on Turkey by putting regional issues, such as the Cyprus issue. So, in this context, the Foreign Minister is going to inform about the developments and a review will be made as to whether something can be done to achieve the goal, which is the resumption of the negotiation”, the Spokesman said.

With regard to the meeting of President Anastasiades with the Executive Director of the ENI, Claudio Descalzi, the Government Spokesman said that there is very specific content and discussion, as ENI is a partner of the Republic of Cyprus that is licensed for more than one Plots.

“[At the meeting] there was the opportunity to make a general review. Of course, technical issues are more closely monitored by the responsible minister. What we can say is that it was a very important meeting, following the episode of the turkish provocation.

A joint course of action has been decided, which is none other than to continue with persistence, based on international law. In addition, there will also be bilateral, state and bilateral contacts with Italy. We know that the previous period in Italy was transitional as elections were held, no government was formed, etc. Therefore, ENI’s designs are also put in a broader context with other companies, such as TOTAL, which operates in neighbouring Plots. And although we do not need to discuss technical issues at the moment, we must say that the summary is that, as Mr Descalzi said, the company remains committed as its interests are at stake. An amount of around EUR 700 million has been invested, and one realizes that the company did not put that money so that it would forsake them and leave. The company has already come back. The design continues for both Plot 3 and the other Plots, and Mr Descalzi has announced that in 2018 specific exploratory work is planned and that drilling will be carried out in 2019. Details will be given in time. Soon, there will be better estimates for the findings of the previous drilling”./IBNA