Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is meeting President Nicos Anastasiaded in Nicosia on Tuesday morning amidst rising tension in the Eastern Mediterranean following Turkey’s maritime provocations within sovereign territory of both Cyprus and Greece.
Lavrov arrived in Cyprus on Monday evening for a working visit which also marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Two bilateral treaties – a revised one on double taxation being – will also be signed.
The chief Russian diplomat will be meeting one-on-one with his Cyprus counterpart Nicos Christodoulides after his talks with Anastasiades as well as with House President Demetris Syllouris.
The two foreign ministers will be joined by delegates from both countries, according to an official announcement which also said a review of the full range of Cyprus-Russia bilateral relations will take place.
In addition, the agenda includes an exchange of views – among others – on the Cyprus issue and on the situation in the eastern Mediterranean in light of the latest developments. As well as a discussion on Russia-EU relations and other regional issues.
At 12.30pm, Lavrov and Christodoulides will make statements after signing a plan for consultations for 2021 to 2022.
After touring a photo exhibition dedicated to the 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries in the atrium of the foreign ministry, Christodoulides and Lavrov will attend a working lunch.
Lavrov’s visit comes days after the United States announced a partial lifting of an arms embargo on Cyprus.
The lifting of the US embargo will last for one year – with the possibility of renewal – and applies to non-lethal weapons systems.
US officials have said that the lifting of the embargo will be monitored on an ongoing basis. And that maintaining this state of affairs is contingent on Cyprus denying Russian military vessels access to ports for refuelling and servicing.
At the same time, police are taking increased security measures from the moment Lavrov arrived in Cyprus and traffic on Tuesday will be cut off in some roads in Larnaca and Nicosia.
The public is urged to be patient and follow the instructions of police officers on duty.