WALL – Murat Zyazikov, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close colleagues in the past, has been appointed as the Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Cyprus. The Kremlin’s sending of a Muslim ambassador to Cyprus resonated in Nicosia. According to the Cyprus News Agency, Putin appointed Zyazikov, the ex-leader of the Autonomous Region of Ingushetia, to replace Stanislav Osadchiy, whose term of office ended in Cyprus, with a related decree. Zyazikov is a diplomat who has held important positions in Russia. The 65-year-old Russian official is of Kyrgyzstan origin and knows the Caucasus geography closely.
Politis, broadcasting in Cyprus, gave the news of the appointment with the headline “Putin’s gift to Erdogan via Nicosia”. According to Politis, Zyazikov’s appointment is a message sent by Russia to Ankara via Cyprus. Providing details on Zyazikov’s background, Politis wrote that the Russian diplomat served in the KGB during the Soviet Union.
The newspaper also reported that the appointment of a Muslim diplomat created confusion in the south of Nicosia. Greek media focused on the possibility of developing relations with the north of the island after Zyazikov took office in Cyprus. Politis stated that diplomatic sources in Nicosia think that Zyazikov’s appointment may be related to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stance on the Ukraine crisis and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decisions on Nagorno-Karabakh and Ankara’s presence in Syria.