Russia supports a proposal for opening the currently fenced-off town of Varosha, in Famagusta,  which would benefit both sides on the island and facilitate the process of resolving the Cyprus problem, the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav V. Osadchiy has said.

Osadchiy was speaking to the press following his meeting held here today with the Secretary General of the opposition leftwing AKEL Party Andros Kyprianou.

Asked if a possible opening of Varosha would be good for the solution process of the Cyprus problem, Russian Ambassador said that his country supports anything put on the negotiating table which is acceptable for both sides.

He noted that Russia would support any agreement on any issue, including the opening of Varosha that will benefit both sides, adding that “we always support joint efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.”

He stressed that Russia always supports efforts of the government and the people of Cyprus for the solution of the Cyprus problem and expressed his reassurance that his country would continue  to do so.

The Russian Ambassador said that his country would continue to play a role in Cyprus and expressed the hope the bilateral relations between the two countries will be improved, noting that both sides needs the improvement of the relations.

The city of Famagusta was captured by the invading Turkish forces in August 1974. It was sealed off and remains uninhabited, under the direct control of the Turkish military.

The Republic of Cyprus has since declared the ports in the occupied areas closed since it cannot exercise its full control over them, as a result of the continuing Turkish occupation. The fenced-off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta – called Varosha – was abandoned by its lawful inhabitants, as they fled the advancing Turkish troops.

Varosha remains since 1974 a sealed area, a ghost town, since the Turkish army does not allow visitors or the lawful inhabitants of the area to visit it.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks are currently underway between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with an aim to reunify the island

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