Press Release Regarding The S-300 Missiles

There have been reports in the Greek Cypriot press to the effect that the Greek Cypriot Council of Ministers has approved a decision to purchase Russian-made S-300 missiles and that an agreement in this regard has been signed in Nicosia.It has been observed that the Greek Cypriot side, in the context of its "joint defence doctrine" with Greece, has recently been engaged in a excessive rearmament effort. Contrary to what the Greek Cypriot side claims, it is obvious, in view of the arrival in the island of Russian-made T-80 tanks, the construction of an air force and navy base in South Cyprus for use by Greece, and, most recently, the news concerning the purchase of S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missiles from the Russian Federation, that the rearmament efforts of the Greek Cypriot side go far beyond its defence needs and are designed to serve an aggressive purpose.

Turkey's position on this matter is abundantly clear.

Turkey is of the view that the excessive rearmament of the Greek Cypriot side poses a threat to the atmosphere of peace in Cyprus and adversely affects the efforts for the finding of a solution to the Cyprus question.

It is obvious that Turkey will not tolerate developments aimed at jeopardizing the security of the Turkish Cypriot people; threatening its own territory, military means and capability; and upsetting the Turkish-Greek balance in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Russian Federation, which has previously sold heavy weapons to the Greek Cypriots and is now aiming to sell anti-aircraft missiles to them, has responsibilities arising from its position as a Permanent Member of the Security Council and a signatory to the OSCE documents relating to arms transfers. During the recent visit of our Foreign Minister to Russia, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation has indicated that Russia would not sell offensive weapons to the Greek Cypriot side. We expect Russia to adhere to this commitment.

It the past too, the Greek Cypriot side has attempted to settle the Cyprus question by armed force, but each time faced disappointment and suffering. We warn the Greek Cypriot side in the strongest terms not to make the same mistake again and drag the island into new adventures with unforeseen consequences.