President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues. I am happy to meet with you again.
Russia-Cyprus relations are traditionally friendly and are based on the principles of respect and consideration for one another’s interests. We have a comprehensive political dialogue. We constantly maintain contacts.
Our economic ties are also developing. Mutual trade in 2018 grew by almost 154 percent despite some external difficulties. An intergovernmental commission has been working as well.
We need to pay even more attention to direct contacts between business communities. And, of course, I would like to note the very large investment flows.
We understand that to a large extent this is repatriation of Russian capital from Cyprus, but still the $148 billion that came to the Russian economy from Cyprus is a significant sum.
Russia has $166 billion of direct investment in Cyprus. I do not know what other countries contribute so much to Cyprus. In any case, I reiterate, our relations are developing quite positively. We are pleased by that and I am glad to see you again, Mr President.
President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades (retranslated): Mr President, I am also very happy to meet with you.
Our relations are indeed developing positively. Both the relations and the contacts between our countries are developing. For many years, Russia has been a close partner and friend of Cyprus both at the political and economic levels.
This is also related to investment and the loan that you gave us during a difficult time for Cyprus. We appreciate the weapons systems that you provided to us, for defence purposes, of course.
We also appreciate the position Russia takes on the Cyprus issue. We know that you have wonderful relations with Turkey. We are concerned about this and hope that you can influence your partner in order to solve the Cyprus problem as soon as possible.
I would like to assure you again that on matters of principal, we remain loyal friends of Russia. This also concerns our position within the EEC and other international organisations. We share very close and sincere cooperation.