Statement by First Deputy Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyanskiy at the UN Security Council Vote on draft resolution on extending the mandate of UNFICYP
The Russian Federation has supported resolution 2483 on extending the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in its unchanged form.
We are convinced that the Mission plays a key role by strengthening stability that is the required prerequisite for a direct dialogue between the Cypriot communities.
We cannot but be concerned about the fact that after the termination of the international conference in Crans-Montana, the “period of reflection” that the Secretary-General referred to in one of his reports, became protracted. However, the UN Mission should not be used as a tool of exercising political pressure on Cypriots. The task of the Mission is to ensure security and monitor observance of the buffer zone.
As for political settlement, it is well established that only the Cypriot communities themselves can come to an agreement about a unified State - bizonal, bicommunal federation, and do this via a direct dialogue. This is a very sensitive issue, and any external interference, imposed concepts, pressure, and artificial deadlines are absolutely unacceptable. Such approach by no means helps in a painstaking process of searching for compromise solutions.
As for international assistance to the Cypriot settlement, we believe the time has long become ripe to increase the Security Council profile in this process. It is well known, that one of the most important aspects to the settlement is effective security guarantees for both communities. It is self-evident that the current guarantee system that involves three foreign States does not contribute to Cypriots searching for an independent solution. Let me be frank: the existing system of security guarantees for Cyprus has to a large extent become anachronist. The most effective measures to ensure independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the unified Cyprus would be those made by the Security Council. In the long term, it is the Council that will have to endorse the final agreements the sides will have come to.
In conclusion, let me call upon those who seek to drag Cyprus into geopolitical meddling that goes along with attempts to oust the traditional actors from the Eastern Mediterranean, to stop doing this. Such tactic might entail dangerous escalation of tension in this rather sensitive region; and it by no means can promote settlement in Cyprus.