Nicosia, March 5, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By special correspondent Andreas Voniatis of MAXHnews
Important results from the trip to Moscow
From Russia with love…
The successful visit of the President of the Republic and the “depth” of the significance of what took place behind the closed doors of the Kremlin and the Duma, evidenced by the extend of publicity it received by major news networks, but also by the fact that top officials of the so called superpowers were quick to comment on the developments.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, perhaps for the first time since taking office – and having – as was made evident – by his side all the political forces, spoke bluntly and acted solely in the interest of Cyprus and not the West as a whole.
Anastasiades criticised the partners’s stance
His strong annoyance by the stance kept by the European partners of Cyprus against the Turkish provocations gave the President of the Republic, answering a host of questions at the end of his very important meetings.
“It is not only the violation of international law by Turkey. Recently we had violations in the Cypriot EEZ and unfortunately many of our friends-partners who showing their sensitivity to other countries remain passive and silent. A policy of double standards finds us vertically opposite”, said Nicos Anastasiades.
Even more intense and more denunciatory was President Putin speaking after the signing of dozens of agreements. He stressed that the decisions to impose sanctions should be taken on the basis of national interests of member countries and not – in his words – for other gibberish interests and expressed his gratitude for the stance of Cyprus.
President of Cyprus was not afraid to speak openly, since at a question posed to him that he acts contrary to the partners he responded that “democracy in the European Union is working perfectly”, stressing that the right of speech and dissent is not considered a sin.
“Cyprus is not alone in expressing concerns about the sanctions, since a host of countries has done so as well. If we had not expressed our opposition to those who were in favour of absolute measures, the sanctions may have been stricter and to no avail”, he said.
The British add insult to injury
The Cyprus – Russia agreements, but most importantly the return of fraternal relations between the two countries, annoyed the otherwise biased in favour of the Turks, British.
“Basic position of the British government is that it is a matter that concerns Cyprus. At the same time, however, it is placed in the broader context of our concerns on Russia’s policy in Ukraine”, said a source of the British Foreign Office.
London recalls the position of the European Union against Russia at this juncture and declares that it recognises the unity that Cyprus has demonstrated with its European partners on this issue. “As such, in the light of current problems, it is not the time to extend a hand of friendship to Russia until they have demonstrated intent to comply with the Minsk agreement”, said the same source revealing the climate within the UK government.
The Foreign Office stressed that Moscow must show that it is bound by the agreement signed in the capital of Belarus under the auspices of the OSCE, which provided for a ceasefire in areas of eastern Ukraine. “We insist that Russia should show its commitment to the agreement before we normalise relations with it”, he noted the same dignitary of the Foreign Office.
Ankara appears annoyed
The significance of the signed agreements of the Republic of Cyprus with Russia is reflected in the most distinct manner in the Turkish press, which present Ankara being strongly disturbed by the tactical actions of Nicosia.
Hurriyet, in a correspondence from the turkish occupied part of Cyprus, wrote on the issue under “Ports to the Russians in Cyprus against the postponement of repayment of debts” and wrote that the Russian President Putin persuaded President Anastasiades to open Cyprus’ ports against repayment deferral of the debt of EUR 2.5 billion and a reduction in interest rates. It also noted that President Anastadiades did not concede an airbase to Russia, but opened the ports that are of strategic importance to Russian ships. According to the newspaper, Russia for its part has extended until 2021 the loan repayment period of EUR billion granted to Cyprus in 2011.
Of critical importance described the agreement the turkish newspaper “Turkiye”, noting that the signing of the Agreement for the opening of ports to Russian ships will ensure the facilitation of the passage of Russian military ships in the Mediterranean.
The Daily Sabah spoke of a surprise move by Nicosia, writing under the title: “The Greek-Cypriot administration surprised its European partners with the new military agreement signed with Russia, which is under increasing pressure from Western governments because of its belligerent attitude towards its neighbors. According to the newspaper, while the EU Member States appeared united on the issue of sanctions against Russia, the close relations of Cyprus with Moscow revealed the split within the EU.
Eroglu appears fearful
The agreements signed by Cyprus with Russia do not bind nor is there a question of their validity for the pseudo-state or the whole of Cyprus, stressed the Turkish-Cuprus leader, Dervis Eroglu, saying that the “Greek-Cypriot administration” has no right or authority to sign agreements and carry out actions and initiatives in the name of the whole island.
So annoyed was the leader of the occupied part of Cyprus that he issued a written statement saying that “the G/C administration of southern Cyprus” – as he calls the Republic of Cyprus – “with the unilateral signing of these agreements not only did it not stay within the jurisdiction of its borders, but at the same time it did not take into account the sensitive balances around the island”.
It once again becomes evident, Eroglu added, what a big mistake it was by the EU to reward the G/C side, making it a memebr, despite its intransigence, and urged the Union to respond to the moral obligation towards the T/C with the promises it made. It was announced, he continued, that during his visit to Moscow President Anastasiades signed a series of agreements concerning, among others, matters of military, energy efficiency and others and in addition the leadership of the G/C – as he said – commented that these large-scale agreements take relations between the Russian Federation with the “G/C administration” to a new level.
According to Erdoglu, the “G/C administration” has no right to sign agreements for the entire island and for this reason these agreements do not bind the whole of Cyprus or the pseudo-sate. In terms of time coordination, the agreements signed show, as he said, that the G/C is far away from the mentality of a solution that can be mutually acceptable and based on the free will of both parties.