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Recognition of North Cyprus not implied by opening of Russian consular office — president

Ersin Tatar said that the republic had not received any request to open a Russian consulate

ANKARA, August 9. /TASS/. The opening of an office offering Russian consular services to Russian nationals residing in Northern Cyprus does not translate into formal recognition by Moscow of the [self-proclaimed] Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), TRNC President Ersin Tatar said.

"We have not received any request to open a consulate, but there have been initiatives to open an office [to provide consular services by Russia]. We have a UK mission of this kind here. We are not against also having a Russian office," the president said.

"We have a lot of Russians here, and it's quite normal to open [such an office] here so they can conduct their business. Opening such an office does not mean that [Russia] has recognized us," the Gundem Kibris publication quoted Tatar as saying.

In turn, TRNC Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu said that Russia "has wanted to open an office in the TRNC for a long time, for about a year." "Opening a consulate is a different issue and there is no talk about that. There was a request to open an office like what the US or the UK have [in Northern Cyprus]. The [establishment of a] consulate or [formal diplomatic] recognition is a completely different matter," he elaborated.

Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus Murat Zyazikov told TASS that, "Russians will be able to seek help from the staff of the consular department of the Russian embassy who will be receiving them on a regular basis in the north of the island." According to him, "this decision is long overdue; it has no political overtones," and was "prompted solely by humanitarian considerations." According to some estimates, more than 50,000 Russians live in the northern part of Cyprus.

Speaking about Russia's approach to the Cyprus issue, the ambassador noted that "it remains unchanged." Russia "continues to adhere to a fundamental position, consistently advocating for a comprehensive, viable and fair settlement within the well-known international legal framework enshrined in [the relevant] UN Security Council resolutions," Zyazikov emphasized.