Cyprus Defence Minister expresses gratitude to Russia for assistance to his country

Sokratis Hasikos, Defence Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, has expressed gratitude to Russia for assistance rendered to his country. "We want again to express our gratitude to the Russian leadership for the assistance it has rendered and continues to render to our republic," the Minister told RIA Novosti when visiting the Rosoboronexport display at the international exhibition Defender International-2002 in Athens on Thursday.

Hasikos said that he finds the Rosoboronexport display and the Russian equipment exhibited there to be excellent. "We consider ourselves to be one of the sincerest clients of that export organization," he noted.

When inspecting the Russian display, the Cyprus minister and the military accompanying him practically did not overlook any of the Russian stands, after which Hasikos met with the Rosoboronexport leadership.

At present, the army of the Republic of Cyprus is equipped with Russian T-80U tanks, BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles, Grad multiple launch rocket systems and TOR-M1 air defence systems which Cyprus received from Greece instead of the modern S3-PMU-1 air defence systems, which it purchased from Russia.