TRNC News Today 4th December 2014
Putin’s remarks came in from the cold
Cyprus Mail – 4 December 2014
The official visit of the President of the Russian Federation – Vladimir Putin, accompanied by a host of ministers and officials, to Turkey last Monday did not receive very much coverage in the Cyprus media. Some newspapers did not deem it newsworthy enough to carry even a brief report about it. Nor did the political parties, which issue half a dozen announcements a day about the most trivial issues, consider such a high profile visit important enough to say anything about it.
Even if they ignored Putin’s proposal for a deeper energy co-operation with Turkey that would involve a new gas pipeline with a capacity of 63 billion cubic metres and the creation of an energy hub on the Greek-Turkish border, they should have said something about his remarks regarding Cyprus. Ahead of the visit, Putin was quoted in the Turkish press as saying that “neither the Russian state nor the energy ministry are involved in any gas projects in Cyprus.” He added: “It is up to private companies to deal with the process, if there is one. They need to know that it will be their own responsibility to deal with any crisis and risks there.”
Had a US official expressed such a view, the parties would have been competing over who would have issued the strongest-worded announcement to condemn the “provocative and unacceptable” comments that condoned the violation of Cypriot EEZ by Turkey. But they do not mind Putin being so blasé about “crisis and risks” that Turkey could cause to gas projects there. He could not have made it clearer that Russia had no interest in what was happening in the Cypriot EEZ. Asked about the matter yesterday, the government spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides said that the Russian embassy had been contacted to establish whether the comments were accurate.
The parties and newspaper commentators stayed silent because the myth they had been peddling for years about Russia’s unwavering support for Cyprus had been exposed for what it was. They could not now admit that they had been selling a fairy-tale to people, or that their understanding of international relations was so poor that they could not see the blatantly obvious – Russia would not jeopardise its second biggest market for natural gas, after Germany, for tiny and inconsequential Cyprus. Only a complete fool or a Cypriot politician could not see how important Turkey is for Russia.
Now it is even more important than it was a year ago. The fallout with the EU over the Ukraine crisis has led Putin to scrap the South Stream pipeline and propose a new pipeline, with the same capacity, using Turkey as the transit country. As a sweetener, Putin announced lowering the price of gas supplied to Turkey by 6 per cent from next year. Add to this trade worth $35bn, which the two countries want to increase to €100bn by the 2020s, and the construction of a nuclear power station in Turkey by Russia, worth €20bn, and it becomes painfully obvious that our politicians have been taking us for a ride, claiming that we can always rely on Moscow’s support.”
Foreign Minister Nami meets with EU Minister Bozkır
Volkan Bozkır, the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey, has met with Foreign Minister – Özdil Nami within the framework of his contacts in the TRNC.
In the statement made during his visit, Bozkır expressed his wish to share Turkey’s experiences throughout its EU process, as well as to discuss opportunities that the TRNC can use at the EU Commission, Council and Parliament.
Bozkır mentioned that the Greek Cypriot Administration of South Cyprus is using its EU membership to place impediments in front of Turkey throughout its EU membership process, and stated that “Turkey has not made a single concession on this matter for the past 8 years. After this point, Turkey will not accept the transfer of factors related to the resolution of the Cyprus problem to Turkey’s EU membership process. These factors should undoubtedly be used for the resolution of the Cyprus problem, not for the opening of chapters.”
Minister Bozkır recalled that Turkey will be hosting EU officials in the upcoming week and stated that he will bring the hellim issue to the agenda of the meetings, and that he will display efforts to establish more contact between the newly established EU Commission and Turkish Cypriot officials.
Bozkır also drew attention to the significance of concluding the drinking water project between Turkey and Northern Cyprus and using the project as a strategic element.
Bozkır added that prior to the visit of the Prime Minister of Turkey to Greece, the common standpoint of our two countries will be re-evaluated along with Foreign Minister – Özdil Nami.
Minister Nami underlined that the EU itself is a peace project which has a global impact. Minister Nami also stated that Turkey’s EU membership process is a very important element which can contribute to this project, therefore, such a peace project should never be allowed to turn into a weapon. “Unfortunately, our Greek Cypriot counterparts continue to use their EU membership as leverage against us instead of taking the opportunity to benefit from the EU towards reaching a comprehensive settlement on the Island”, Nami added.
Foreign Minister Nami stated that “our role on this matter is to remind the Greek Cypriot side that their strategy is wrong and a peace project ought to be used for purposes of peace”. He also added that “we have exercises urging the EU to contribute on this matter”.
Minister Nami said that they were to discuss both bilateral relations with the EU, the current stage of the Cyprus negotiations, and the issues of strategies to follow in respect of natural gas with Minister Bozkır.
Following the meeting at the Foreign Ministry, both Ministers together with their delegations continued their meeting during a working lunch.
Minister Nami and Minister Bozkır enjoyed a city tour of Lefkoşa following their meeting and made observations at the Lokmacı Crossing point.
Existence of walls in Cyprus is a shame for the region, country and humanity
Volkan Bozkır, the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator of the Republic of Turkey had a Lefkoşa city tour and also visited the Lokmacı Gate with Foreign Minister Özdil Nami within the framework of his visit to the TRNC yesterday.
Bozkır described the existence of walls in Cyprus at the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall as a shame for the region, country and humanity.
Indicating that Cyprus should be reunified and people should come together again, Bozkır wished that the Greek Cypriot side will come back to the table and start negotiations as soon as possible.
Ergün Olgun: “Deadlock in the Cyprus issue resulted in frustration”
Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ergün Olgun indicated that due to the Greek Cypriot side’s attitude that rejects power sharing and their unilateral activities, the Cyprus issue has become repulsive for the international community and the deadlock has resulted in frustration.
Ergün Olgun attended a program at Diyalog TV yesterday. Replying to a question about the statements of UK ex-foreign Minister Jack Straw and UK Minister for EU Lidington, Olgun pointed out that the UN ex-Chief of Mission Gustave Feissel also made an important evaluation which was published recently.
Olgun stressed that according to Feissel the Cyprus negotiations process should be adapted to the present conditions and the reasons for not reaching a solution for 50 years should also be examined. Furthermore, if the aim is finding a federal partnership a more appropriate negotiations process should be established.
Indicating that Gustave Feissel’s views contain important points, Olgun said that the problems exist due to the shortcomings also mentioned by Feissel.
Reaction to Pegasus Airlines being number one
Fileleftheros newspaper wrote that “Citizens Alliance” wants precautions to be taken against those who travel through Ercan Airport. It has also been recorded that “Citizens Alliance” wants everyone to do whatever they can in order to save ‘Cyprus Airways’.
On the other hand KS EDEK expressed that the list of airline companies according to the number of passengers carried, made it obvious that ‘Cyprus Airways’ should be protected.
Source TRNC Public Information Office