MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. Western media’s accusations that Moscow was trying to stall the negotiation process on Cyprus are baseless and absurd, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in a statement.
"Moscow is puzzled by media claims that Russia made attempts to hinder the reunification of Cyprus. Such claims reflect the fact that political forces, oriented on certain circles in the United States and the United Kingdom, are dissatisfied with our compelling stance on the Cyprus issue," the spokeswoman said, responding to a media request on the ministry’s official website.
"Claims about attempts by Russia to stall the negotiation process are not supported by any facts and are simply absurd," she went on, adding that attempts to interfere into the negotiation process and forcefully speed it up were inadmissible.
"We are convinced that anti-Russian claims by certain media will not benefit this process and the interests of the Cypriot people," Zakharova said.
Cyprus has been divided into two parts since 1974 after Turkey invasion of the northern part of the island that followed a state coup staged by supporters of Cyprus’ unification with Greece. As a result of combat operations, Turkey won control of about 37% of the island’s territory where the Turkish Cypriot community unilaterally declared independence and formed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983. Turkey is the guarantor for Northern Cyprus while the island’s southern part constitutes the Republic of Cyprus populated primarily by Greek Cypriots. The two communities have been holding U.N.-brokered negotiations for decades.
A favorable environment for the Cypriot settlement came to existence when Cyprus’ President Nikos Anastasiadis and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci took charge of the negotiating process in May 2015.