Russia hopes that negotiations on the process of Cyprus settlement will resume in early 2002. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow welcomed the meeting between representatives of the two sides -- Cypriote President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriote Leader Rauf Denktash -- in Nicosia on December 4. Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary General's special advisor on Cyprus, was present at the meeting. The meeting resulted in announcement of the upcoming talks. The Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Russia is consistently supporting the process of negotiations within the framework of the UN Secretary General's good offices mission. Russia will continue rendering assistance to Cyprus in seeking fair, comprehensive, and viable solutions to the Cyprus problem based on the relevant resolutions by the UN Security Council, the ministry asserted.
Russian military repeatedly thwarted Turkey's attempts to deploy its troops to Syria, and stopped militants from moving further south