Moscow hopes Geneva summit will relaunch Cyprus talks

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Moscow hopes next week’s informal UN-backed Geneva summit will pave the way for the resumption of stalled Cyprus talks.

“We are closely following the preparations for this.

“It is a positive sign that all the interested parties have expressed readiness to attend it.

“We hope the upcoming event will help relaunch the negotiations and find compromise solutions to problematic issues,” Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told a press briefing.

Zakharova said Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, “is categorically against the enforcement of any ready-made external formulas and temporary solutions.”

“The Cyprus communities must be free to choose their own future.”

“Our principled stance remains unchanged: we stand for a comprehensive, fair and sustainable settlement in the best interests of all Cypriots based on the generally recognised legal formula that provides for the creation on the island of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a common international jurisdiction, sovereignty and citizenship.”

She said, “advocacy by some capitals (Turkey) to change the current principles of a settlement from a federal to a two-state model is unacceptable.

“Any change of the basic parameters is only possible with the approval of the UN.”

Russia also supports the gradual demilitarisation of the island and abolishing the system of external guarantees for UN Security Council safeguards.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invited Cypriot leaders and guarantor powers Greece, Turkey, Britain to attend an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from 27-29 April.

There have been no formal Cyprus negotiations since UN-sponsored talks collapsed in Switzerland in July 2017.