Mikhail Mishustin: Mr President, I am delighted to meet you and to attend together the events here in Athens dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Greece’s liberation from Ottoman rule. This important day is also celebrated in the Republic of Cyprus.
I would like to take this opportunity to convey to you greetings and best wishes from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
We know you as a great friend of Russia and a supporter of an open dialogue. You have been constantly pursuing this policy towards our country.
We highly value the strong historical and spiritual bonds that unite Russia and Cyprus. Last year, 2020, marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries.
Our bilateral cooperation is growing fast in all major areas. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has changed things, and trade between our countries has shrunk by more than half. We will certainly try to rectify this situation and build up cooperation in the field of tourism, education and information technology, as well as expand investment.
As soon as the epidemiological situation normalises, we hope that our intergovernmental commission will become more active. It is important to give a new impetus to our bilateral mechanisms such as the Russia-Cyprus Business Council and promote cooperation between the chambers of commerce and industry. I would like to reaffirm that we are interested in expanding contacts in education and youth exchanges. By the way, Cypriot students are attending Russian universities with scholarships from the federal government. We would certainly like to strengthen our cultural and spiritual ties in every possible way.
Mr President, I am ready to discuss with you all the current aspects of mutual cooperation.
Nicos Anastasiades (via interpreter): My dear friend, Mr Prime Minister, Mr Mishustin,
I am delighted to meet with you, too. Thank you for finding the time for this meeting.
It is generally known that the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation have an excellent relationship. As you already mentioned, we have marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. I have excellent, friendly relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and with your predecessor as Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, as well as with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who often comes to Cyprus. We conduct regular mutual visits.
First of all, I would like to thank you for Russia’s principled approach towards the Cyprus problem. This principled stance is based on your commitment to observing the UN resolutions and not going beyond the scope of the United Nations decisions and resolutions. At the same time, this approach is to reject the two-state solution.