Cyprus & World News

POLITICS: Moscow warns US against arms build-up in Cyprus

05 December, 2018

Moscow has warned the US it will have to take active measures in case of a military build-up by Washington in Cyprus, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reportedly told journalists on Wednesday.

She said information is coming from different sources about Washington’s actions to ensure the possibility of building up its military presence in Cyprus to counter "the growing Russian influence in the region in light of the successful implementation of the operation of the Russian Aerospace Force in Syria," Zakharova said.

"The further militarisation of the island and its involvement in the implementation of American and NATO plans will inevitably lead to dangerous and destabilizing consequences for Cyprus itself," the diplomat warned according to Russia’s TASS news agency.

"Moscow cannot but take into consideration the anti-Russian background of these schemes. We will have to take response measures in case of their implementation," she added.

Although Nicosia has moved closer to Washington diplomatically in recent months and will appoint a military attaché their – the government denies it part of any military build-up on the island.

“Regarding today's TASS news agency story, we clarify that it has never been our target, nor are we now pursuing the militarization of Cyprus,” Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Wednesday.

He said due to its geographical location, the Republic of Cyprus provides facilities for humanitarian operations, and only in cases where some countries make a request or have an agreement relating to the matter.

In 2017, Cyprus granted facilities at the island's airports in 672 cases and port facilities in other 225.

“During this year and until October 29, facilities were granted in 212 cases at airports and in 207 cases in the ports of Cyprus,” said Prodromou.