Cyprus. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Cyprus. The Russian anti-aircraft missiles that Cyprus had decided at the end of 1998 following threats from Turkey to refrain from deploying on the divided island were reported in April to have been mounted on the Greek island of Crete. Under the agreements reached by the Greek Cypriots with Greece and with the Russian manufacturer Rozvoorouzjenije, the fully functional missiles would remain in Greek Cypriot ownership but would be under Greek control.
In early December, Cyprus President Glafkos Klerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash held talks under UN leadership in New York. It was the first time the parties had negotiated since 1997.
The EU stated at the December summit that Cyprus could join the Union even if the island is still divided. This meant a turnaround that was made possible by Greece’s change of attitude on the issue. Previously, Greece had demanded that Cyprus be admitted as a united country. The idea is that Cyprus should be ready for membership in 2003.
Two Israeli agents, who had been arrested in Cyprus in 1998, were pardoned in August on the grounds that it was in the interest of the nation. They were both sentenced to three years in prison.
Military exercise in the eastern Mediterranean
Cyprus will take part in military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean along with Greece, France and Italy. The exercises will last for three days and they will be carried out in the light of the recent conflict with Turkey. Tensions have been raised following the discovery of gas deposits off Cyprus and in the sea near Greek Crete. The conflict has recently escalated after Turkey sent the research vessel Oruc Reis to search for energy deposits in disputed sea areas.
Criminals have been allowed to buy passports from Cyprus
A leak to Qatar-based media company Al Jazeera reveals that suspected criminals, oligarchs and politicians have received Cypriot passports in exchange for multi-million dollar investments. They have thus also become EU citizens. Among the 2,500 approved passport applications from the years 2017 to 2019, about 1,000 were from Russians and 500 from Chinese. According to the sources, at least 30 of those who have applied for a “golden passport” must have been convicted of crimes or subject to legal investigations or international sanctions. Another 40 or so were stated to have high-ranking positions in their home countries. The Cypriot government is responding to the grave allegations by claiming that the criteria for obtaining a passport have been tightened since the beginning of 2019.
The EU asks Turkey to stop test drilling outside Cyprus
The EU demands that Turkey stop its plans to test drill for gas off the southwest coast of Cyprus. The Turkish ship Yavuz, which has been searching for oil and gas deposits in the sea near Cyprus for several months, will continue exploration off the southwest coast of Cyprus until mid-September. But according to the EU, test drilling is illegal because it takes place within the economic zone of Cyprus. Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean have increased in recent times as the countries in the region have begun to compete for oil and gas discovered in the area.