Lavrov discussed with the foreign Minister of Cyprus the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean

At the initiative of the Cypriot side held a telephone conversation of Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides, said the foreign Ministry.

"I held a detailed exchange of views on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. Special attention was given to the promotion of Cypriot settlement, including the role of the UN in this process", - reported on the website of the foreign Ministry.

In addition, a review of the bilateral agenda. Planned joint activities in the context of celebrating this year the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Cyprus. Agreed steps to accelerate the preparation of several bilateral documents.

Cyprus de facto been divided since 1974 when Turkish armed forces invaded the North of Cyprus and occupied 37% of territory of the country. The pretext for the invasion was the attempted coup in Cyprus on 15 July 1974 by the Greek military. Despite several UN security Council resolutions, part of the island remains occupied, and the settlement process several times frustrated.

In addition, in recent months there has been increasing tension in Greek-Turkish relations. The latest example was the publication in the Turkish official Gazette of applications to the Turkish petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to carry out studies in the areas of the Greek continental shelf. Adviser to the Prime Minister of Greece's national security, then Minister of national defense of Greece Nikos Panayotopoulos said in recent days about the readiness, if necessary, to give a military response by Turkey.

At the end of November 2019, the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the head of the national consensus government (NTC) of Libya Fayez Sarraj controlling only part of the country, have signed a Memorandum of cooperation in the military sphere and on mutual understanding relating to Maritime zones. Greece believes that Turkey is trying to assign a significant part of the Greek exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and calls illegal the agreement.