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Russian foreign minister to visit Cyprus


Russian foreign minister to visit Cyprus

russian foreign minister
Photo: Yiannis Kourtoglou/ Reuters

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to conclude his visit to Nicosia today, at the same time that Moscow is set to conduct naval drills off the Cypriot coast.

Cyprus is becoming an increasingly contentious flashpoint for geopolitical rivalry, and Russia’s latest move—a show of the burgeoning Russia-Cyprus security partnership and the former’s substantial influence over the latter—is deeply alarming for the EU and US. Earlier this week, the US had lifted its arms embargo on Cyprus in an attempt to counter the encroaching Russian sphere of influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. Meanwhile, France has sent ships to the region to bolster EU and NATO presence and the US has issued a statement urging Cyprus not to service Russian naval vessels at their ports.

Given these recent developments, expect the West to ramp up its response to Russian displays of military force. Turkey and NATO will likely continue to counter the Russian presence in a bid to secure oil and gas and thereby wean reliance off Russian energy. The US is also certain to support these efforts due to the destabilising ramifications that an increased Russian presence may have on the Middle East as well.

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