Russian President Vladimir Putin says breaches of UN resolutions on Cyprus are "inadmissible" in a letter response to his Cypriot counterpart, adding that Moscow backs a federation-based settlement and calls for all permanent members of the Security Council to guarantee the island's future.
President Nicos Anastasiades has received a letter from Putin, according to the Cyprus News Agency, in response to letters by the Greek Cypriot leader, who wrote to Moscow after a UN informal 5+1 meeting in Geneva as well as following the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the north of the island earlier this summer.
According to the presidency in Nicosia, Anastasiades had written to the Russian president to express concern over a possible change of status quo in Varosha, an abandoned town and huge puzzle piece of the Cyprus Problem, as well as risks in the prospects of a comprehensive, lasting, and fair solution on the island.
“We consider unilateral actions that violate UNSC resolutions 550 and 789 to be inadmissible,” Putin responded to Anastasiades according to CNA.
A UN Security Council Resolution in May 1984 “considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of that area to the administration of the United Nations.”
Last year Turkey and Turkish Cypriot authorities allowed civilians to access previously fenced off parts of Varosha and this summer invited Greek Cypriots to claim their property rights in the area through a committee in the north.
'We consider unilateral actions that violate UNSC resolutions 550 and 789 to be inadmissible' Putin told Anastasiades according to CNA
Anastasiades had called plans to reopen parts of Varosha an “attempt to grab more territory,” while Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar insisted that a process through an Immovable Property Committee in the north, which calls on Greek Cypriot property owners to claim their rights through restitution or compensation, would go forward “with respect to property rights and in accordance with the law.”
While not naming Turkey or Turkish Cypriots in his reference to Varosha, Putin’s letter came following a diplomatic marathon over the ghost town in the north, which had been abandoned during the summer events of 1974. The town had been destined to return under Greek Cypriot administration in the south as part of a negotiated peace deal between the two sides.
Last week a UNSC resolution renewing a UN peacekeeping force on the divided island was viewed as a diplomatic win by Greek Cypriots, after the Council included references to a Nicosia-sought Presidential Statement calling on Turkey and Turkish Cypriots to reverse all actions to reopen the abandoned town of Varosha and engage in future negotiations aimed at reunifying the divided island on a federal solution.
Ankara, which backs Turkish Cypriots in challenging the federal model and introducing a two-state paradigm, has rejected the resolution saying it was “full of inconsistencies and disconnected from realities.”
But CNA said Putin went on to say in his letter to Anastasiades that “the Russian Federation consistently supports a solution to the Cyprus problem within a known framework of international law, as it has been set by the Security Council resolutions that provide for a bi-zonal, bi-communal, federal solution with single international legal personality, sovereignty, and citizenship.”
The Russian leader added that Moscow would continue to work to promote the establishment of favorable external conditions aimed at achieving progress in seeking a solution to the Cyprus problem through negotiations.
Putin also noted that Moscow strongly believed that all five Permanent Members of the Security Council should be involved in discussions on security guarantees.
Cyprus’ three guarantor powers are NATO countries Greece, Turkey, and Britain based on a 1960 treaty, while the Russian president favors security guarantees being provided under a United Nations umbrella.
CNA also said Putin thanked Anastasiades for ongoing dialogue between their two countries regarding international and regional matters including the situation in Cyprus as well as Russo-Cypriot cooperation.