Cyprus says offering bases to Russia is “nonsense”
It's nonsense that Cyprus is planning to offer its military bases to Russia, Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides said in his speech at the Brussels-based European Policy Centre on Tuesday.
"There is no talk about any military bases in Cyprus. All media reports on this subject are nonsense," he said.
The existing agreements on humanitarian operations such as the evacuation of Russian nationals from the Northern African states, for example, do not provide for the creation of permanent facilities or permanent presence of the Russian personnel, Kassoulides went on to say.
"As for agreement on military-technological cooperation with Russia, it has expired after being valid for many years and should now be extended," the Cyprus foreign minister said adding that Cyprus had concluded an agreement on maintenance of military hardware and spare parts with Russia because all other countries had imposed a military embargo on Cyprus.
On February 9, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman that Nicosia and Moscow were discussing additional possibilities which could be granted to Russia in case of humanitarian operations or emergency situations such as evacuation of Russian nationals from the Northern African states.
He clarified that Russian warplanes and warships could use Cyprus ports for dealing with emergencies and carrying out relief operations.