Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades received on Thursday a not entirely unexpected phone call from Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been calling leaders of partner states after returning from a trip to Washington amid rumors of peace talks.
According to a tweet by Anastasiades, Zelensky briefed the outgoing president about the “latest developments in Russia’s invasion in Ukraine.”
Anastasiades, who is serving his last month as president ahead of elections in early February, said Zelensky, among other things offered an overview on the situation.
'Cyprus, itself a victim of invasion and occupation by Turkey, stands firmly with Ukrainian people' the outgoing president wrote on Twitter after his call with Zelensky
Zelensky reportedly has been on the phone with dozens of leaders and representatives of partner states after his trip to Washington in late December.
The phone calls come at a time when both Kiev and Moscow have been commenting on potential talks almost a year after Russia ordered troops into Ukraine.
Moscow which favors direct talks, with the Russian foreign ministry saying “Western mediators often pursue their own objectives and try to influence the talks, acting not for settlement of the conflict, but in their own political and economic interests."
But Kiev has renewed its trust in Israel, after Israeli media said a senior adviser to Zelensky suggested Thursday that newly-elected prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could serve as a negotiator between Russia and Ukraine.
Turkey has also facilitated talks in the past between Russia and Ukraine.
Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had phone conversations with both his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts, telling Zelensky he was ready to mediate for "lasting peace between Russia and Ukraine.”
Erdogan, whose government did not join western sanctions against Moscow, also reportedly spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about a ceasefire and a "vision for a fair solution."
Anastasiades “reiterated that Cyprus, itself a victim of invasion and occupation by Turkey, stands firmly with Ukrainian people,” the Cypriot president wrote on Twitter after his call with Zelensky.