Russia and Cyprus have signed an agreement that would give Russian military ships access to the EU member state's ports in the Mediterranean Sea.
"We signed a number of documents regarding our military cooperation. For example regarding the entrance of our ships to Cypriot ports," Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 25 in Moscow after signing the deal with his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades.
The deal comes amid heightened tensions between the Kremlin and the West over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea territory a pro-Moscow insurgency fighting Kyiv's forces in eastern Ukraine.
Putin said deal with Cyprus, which relies heavily on Russian investment, should not "cause worries anywhere."
A Cypriot government source told Reuters that Cyprus had previously allowed Russian ships to access its ports but that the deal marked the first time this arrangement was formalized in a separate agreement.