Cyprus Considers Allowing Russia to Use Airbase

Cyprus Considers Allowing Russia to Use Airbase

While backing Bashar al-Assad in Syria, Russia is talking with Cyprus about the possibility of using an airbase in Paphos. Talks are also focused on allowing Russian warships to use the port of Limassol.

Cash-strapped Cyprus received a $3.3 billion loan from Russia last year. UPI reports Vladimir Putin seems ready to restructure the loan in way that will save Cyprus 10 percent in payback costs.

Cypriot Minister of Defense Fotis Fotiou has held discussions on the use of the airbase with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov but stressed that a decision to open the base to them–if made–will not be the result of the financial considerations. 

Said Fotiou: “There is no ‘exchange’ principle here. Facilities in our ports will be given to the Russians just as they are given in other countries. It is the same as the United States, which uses port facilities in European nations such as France and Germany and in Israel.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.