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Cyprus OK’s Russian Warplane Use

NICOSIA – Russian warplanes returning from strikes against ISIS in Syria will be allowed to land at Cypriot airports in emergency situations.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said an agreement is being worked out similar to those reached with France, which is also striking ISIS and whose fighter jets can land on Cyprus if needed.

Kasoulides said Cyprus was bound by international law to grant such access in cases of emergency and humanitarian crisis.

He said the agreement with Russia will also permit use of Cypriot facilities to ease the possible evacuation of Russian nationals from neighboring countries.

Cyprus’ easternmost tip is less than 160 kilometers from the Syrian coast.

Britain is conducting air strikes from its air base on Cyprus against Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq.

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