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Russian advice a ‘slap in the face for Turkey’ says minister


The minister welcomed a Russian statement released on Monday, saying that apart from Greece, Russia was the only country to use such strong language on the invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

“We’re talking about a crystal clear position of principle of the Russian Federation using unequivocal language,” she said, adding that it constituted a “powerful slap in the face” to Turkey and its breakaway regime.

“No country until today, apart from Greece, has used such a clear and revealing expression of policy,” said Marcoullis.

She noted that the Russian position contained specific references to the illegal occupation of territory, the independent and internationally recognised Cyprus Republic, and to the fact that the 1974 Turkish invasion was the cause of Greek Cypriots having to abandon their properties in the north.

“(The statement) refers clearly to the fact that these properties remain the legal ownership of Greek Cypriots who abandoned them and refers to (UN Security Council) resolutions 541 and 550 which condemn the illegal entity (in the north) and all illegalities that stem from this illegality,” said Marcoullis.

The minister said the Russian statement “clearly urges and deters Russian citizens from buying properties in the occupied areas because of the very serious risk of criminal prosecution”.

Buying immoveable property without the consent of the lawful owner is a criminal offence in Cyprus, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Marcoullis said Russia’s clear stance “will certainly act as a deterrent”, even more so after the foreign ministry disseminates this position internationally.

“Therefore, apart from Russian citizens, it would be good for citizens of other countries to be aware of this,” she added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry statement highlighted that most of the property in the north “belongs to Greek Cypriots who were forced to leave their homes as a result of the invasion of Turkish troops in 1974”.

It also noted that the breakaway regime is an illegal entity “proclaimed in the occupied part of the independent and internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus,” and condemned by the UN Security Council.

Buying properties belonging to Greek Cypriots “bears substantial risks,” the announcement said.

“In this regard the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation insistently recommends to Russian citizens not to make doubtful real estate bargains in the part of the island not under the control of the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus,” it said.


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