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Politics

Reports Flights Between Moscow and Occupied Cyprus Are Planned

September 20, 2022

NICOSIA – The Turkish newspaper Milliyet learned of negotiations “between a Russian tour operator and the Turkish Cypriot administration” which “could yield an agreement for direct flights between Russia and Ercan, north Nicosia’s airport, which remains officially unrecognized by the Republic of Cyprus,” according to Kathimerini.

Milliyet reported that it has been informed by diplomatic sources that flights from Russia would “soon be carried out directly between Russia and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” with Kathimerini noting that “this could be achieved possibly through a tour operator but also in the interest of the Kremlin.”

Only Turkey recognizes the administration northern Cyprus that is has occupied illegally since 1974, but a tour operator, Ercan, “ has been operating with inbound and outbound international flights going through Turkey. Repeated efforts to legitimatize the airport internationally have been blocked by the Greek Cypriot south in the Republic of Cyprus, a UN and EU member that has not designated the airstrip as a Port of Entry,” Kathimerini reported.

Milliyet reports that the Turkish Cypriot were are rushing to establish the flights in time for the opening of the new Ercan terminal later in 2022.
According to Kathimerini, Milliyet says effort was made easier when the legitimate government, the Republic of Cyprus that is a member of the EU, largely supported sanctions against Moscow, costing it its usual tourist flow from Russia.

After Russia attacked Ukraine, the Greek Cypriots finally acted on the United States’ request that they deny access to Russian ships,” which angered Moscow.

“Milliyet says Turkish Cypriots hope the new developments would pave the way for recognition,” Kathimerini reported. While recognition by other nations – even Russia – is considered unlikely, these developments add to the concerns of those who fear that Turkey, mirroring Russia’s acts in Ukraine, may move to annex northern Cyprus.

(Material from the Cyprus Edition of Kathimerini was used in this article)

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