30.03.04. Statement by Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regarding Cyprus Negotiations

The second phase of talks on Cyprus settlement being conducted under the United Nations Secretary General's auspices is nearing completion in Switzerland. Their participants are on the threshold of taking important and responsible decisions which will shape the further destiny of the people of Cyprus in the most direct way.

Particularly great in this context is the role of the representatives of the United Nations and, primarily, its Secretary General in elaborating a well-considered, balanced final document which to the greatest extent possible would take into account the interests of the Cyprus parties. We are convinced that the efforts now being made under the aegis of the UN can only be crowned with success on the condition of a voluntary consent of the Cypriots themselves - Greeks and Turks. The UN Security Council is also called upon to play a substantial role in reaching this objective.

Russia, including as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has a straightforward interest in seeing a lasting and fair solution reached to the decades-old Cyprus problem. That solution must conform to the UNSC resolutions and serve as a starting point for the construction of a viable and effective Cyprus state in which the interests and well-being of all its citizens would be reliably protected.

March 30, 2004