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MOSCOW, September 20 /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has confirmed Russia’s stance on the need to settle the Cyprus problem in the interests of the Greek and Turkish communities and without any external pressure, the Russian Foreign Ministry said after Lavrov’s talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades held on the sidelines of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
"The Russian side has confirmed its invariable stance on the Cyprus settlement, which consists in adherence to a comprehensive, viable and fair solution of the Cyprus problem in the interests of the Greek and Cyprus communities without any external pressure," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Lavrov and Anastasiades also discussed international issues, including Russia-EU relations, the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and prospects for bilateral cooperation.
The Minsk agreements should be implemented but sanctions give poor chance to resolve problems between the European Union and Russia, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades told journalists after his meeting with Lavrov.
"We have strong ties with Russia," Anastasiades said. "We believe that the implementation of the Minsk agreements is the only way of resolving problems," the president of Cyprus stressed.
"Sanctions do not give us a chance to conduct a dialogue and resolve problems. On the contrary, they automatically mean that a country on which the sanctions are imposed also retaliates with sanctions," he said.
For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said ahead of the talks that he was glad at the opportunity to exchange views on various issues and discuss the implementation of the bilateral agreements reached during the Cypriot president’s visit to Russia.
Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus following a state coup, which had been staged by supporters of the island nation’s unification with Greece. After a military conflict, Turkey established control over 37% of Cyprus’ territory, on which the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1983.