World

Cyprus signs deal allowing Russian navy ships to make port calls

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades, shake hands at their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades, shake hands at their meeting in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Presidential Press Service)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades shake hands as they exchange documents at a signing ceremony in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Russia and Cyprus have signed a military cooperation agreement that would allow Russian navy ships to make regular port calls on the island. (AP Photo/Yuri Kadobnov, Pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastasiades shake hands as they exchange documents at a signing ceremony in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Russia and Cyprus have signed a military cooperation agreement that would allow Russian navy ships to make regular port calls on the island. (AP Photo/Yuri Kadobnov, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Russia and Cyprus have signed a military cooperation agreement that would allow Russian navy ships to make regular port calls on the island.

The deal with European Union member Cyprus, which also hosts British military bases, comes amid Russia-West tensions over Ukraine, the worst since the Cold War times.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after Thursday's talks with visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that the agreement would primarily refer to Russian navy ships involved in international counter-terrorism and anti-piracy efforts. He added that military cooperation between Russia and Cyprus isn't directed against any third party.

Russia has sought permission for navy ships to use ports in various parts of the world to replenish supplies and undergo maintenance, deals that would allow Moscow to expand its global military presence.