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Russia requests military facilities in Cyprus to fight IS

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Nicosia: Russia has been in touch with the government of Cyprus to discuss the use of military facilities in connection with its campaign against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, Moscow’s ambassador here said on Monday.

Stanislav Osadchiy said the topic under discussion was facilities similar to those already offered to France and Germany by Cyprus, Xinhua reported.

“We are discussing with the (Cypriot) foreign ministry on the issue. I think that we’ll find a way to get these facilities,” Osadchiy said.

Russia said it currently carries out attacks against the IS from an air base near Latakia in Syria. Russia wants to be able to use Cyprus military facilities in the event of an emergency.

Cyprus has an agreement on military cooperation with France, under which French planes can use an air base near the southwestern city of Paphos for refueling and aircraft maintenance.

Osadchiy said the current period was crucial, not only for Cyprus, because of its close proximity to the fighting, but also for the entire region.

“We see what is going on around Cyprus. It is very important to have coordinated actions for fighting the IS, which is expanding in the surrounding area,” said Osadchiy.