On Tuesday, following a meeting with Sokrates Hasikos, Cypriot Defense Minister, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Russia had always recognized Cyprus' territorial integrity. According to Ivanov, the visiting minister informed him of his country's plans to join the European Union, and of "tense relations between Nicosia and Turkey, a NATO member". The Russian minister described as "paradoxical" the situation when a NATO country "threatened the state which in a year would become a European Union member". On his part, the defense minister of Cyprus was pleased with what he heard from his Russian counterpart regarding relations between Russia and NATO. Hasikos said that Cyprus "welcomed the fact that those relations could not be other than political".
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