Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has paid his first official visit to Greek Cyprus, signing several agreements boosting bilateral ties with the Greek Cypriots. Speaking ahead of the talks with Medvedev, Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias said the visit would underscore the two countries’ very close economic, political and cultural ties and help nudge forward slow-moving talks for the reunification of Cyprus, which has been divided between a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south since 1974. Two years of peace talks have produced only limited progress so far. The Greek Cypriot government is recognized internationally while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is recognized by no country except Turkey.
In an article published in a Greek Cypriot daily on Thursday, Medvedev said Russia favored a solution on Cyprus that would not be imposed from outside and opposed any timeline for the Cypriot parties to reach a settlement. Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and the Turkish government have pressed for an agreement by end of the year, a call widely backed by the international community, while the Greek Cypriot side rejected any time restrictions.