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01 June, 2023
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Lavrov references the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (video)

The Russian Foreign Minister referred to the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' without qualifying it as a 'pseudo-state'

Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides

It's no surprise that comparisons are being made between the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, leaving us to wonder if Putin's actions today could affect Cyprus' state of affairs with regards to the Cyprus problem.

Putin's rationale for the invasion, among other things, was to back a separatist group of citizens, mostly Russian speakers, living in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of eastern Ukraine, whose self-proclaimed independence in 2014 was not recognized by Ukraine or the international community.  Sound familiar?

On Monday, President Putin recognized these areas as independent states and called on the Duma to allow him to move military forces into the area in order to put an end to the genocide allegedly going on for years.  Hence, it was under this pretext that the invasion of Ukraine was justified.

So it was no wonder that when Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke at the Security Council meeting on February 21st, where he sought to justify Moscow's decision to recognize the "People's Republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk, ears perked when he referenced "The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" without qualifying it as a "pseudo-state".

He said, "The only conflict where one of the parties refuses to talk to the other, and this is fully supported by the West, is the conflict in eastern Ukraine.  Just look at Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. There is a negotiation process there, mediated by the United Nations."

Moreover, on February 22nd, through a Facebook post by the Russian Foreign Ministry, Lavrov again refers to the occupied side as "The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" again without qualifying it as a "pseudo-state".

The post read: "Look at Cyprus. The "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" has been unilaterally declared in the North.  It refuses to comply with UN Security Council resolutions, but no one denies the representatives of 'Northern Cyprus' the right to participate in the dialogue."

No one can know for sure if there was an underlying message in the words used, but since diplomats are usually adept at using specific words to convey a precise meaning, this was probably not a mistake on Lavrov's part.

See the report at 1:28:25

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