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Establishing Russian military base in Cyprus out of the question — Cyprus FM

The minister stressed that Cyprus’ seaports and airports can be used by Russian warships and warplanes in non-military operations

BRUSSELS, February 9. /TASS/. The issue of establishing Russian naval or military bases in Cyprus has never been considered, Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis said on Monday on the sidelines of the European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.

"Besides, there has never been any request from Russia about this", he told Cyprus News Agency.

Touching upon possible use of Cyprus’ seaports and airports by Russian warships and warplanes, the minister stressed such uses were possible only in non-military operations, such as humanitarian operations like evacuation of Russian nationals from the Middle East countries, if need be.

Earlier on Monday, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades told TASS in an exclusive interview that Moscow and Nicosia were negotiating possible use of airports and seaports of Cyprus by Russian warplanes and warships in humanitarian operations and emergencies. "We are in dialogue on providing additional possibilities to Russia in humanitarian operations and in emergencies," the president told TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman. Anastasiades said airports and seaports of Cyprus may be available to Russian warplanes and ships in emergency situations and humanitarian operations. In fact, the two counties are updating their effective bilateral military agreement.

Kassoulides, in turn, said that what President Anastasiades had referred to in his interview was in fact the renewal of a military cooperation agreement between the two countries, which provided for maintenance of military equipment sold to Cyprus years ago and purchase of spare parts under existing contracts.