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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-11-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 29 November 2001
 Russian Auditor General visits CyprusThe President of the House of Representatives Mr Demetris Christofias received yesterday the Auditor General of the Russian Federation Dr Sergey Stepashin who is currently visiting Cyprus.
In a statement to the press after the meeting Mr Christofias welcomed Dr Stepashin to Cyprus noting that his presence on the island is important because he is not only Head Russian Federation Audit Office but also a political figure, an ex Prime Minister.
Mr Christofias said that discussions with Dr Stepashin focused on the relations between the two countries in the auditing field as well as political issues related to Cyprus and the international scene.
In his statement, De Stepashin expressed his country's support for Cyprus' actions and underlined that Russia is in favour of a unified and demilitarised Cyprus. In addition he expressed the view that the international community and the UN Security Council should react strongly and clearly on certain possible threats against Cyprus.
The Russian official also stressed his country's unchanged position on the Cyprus problem and the island's accession to the European Union. He pointed out that during his meetings with President Clerides and Mr Christofias they discussed measures that would need to be taken on a bilateral level after the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, so that the issue of passport control would not bring obstacles to business activities between Russia and Cyprus.
In conclusion De Stepashin expressed satisfaction for the mutual interest in trade and economic cooperation between the two countries noting that this is of great importance in the fight against money laundering and crime.
 Britain would not allow anyone to veto Cyprus' accession to the EUThe Minister for Europe Mr Peter Hain replying to a question put forward by Mr Tom Brake MP, in the House of Commons on 27 November, on whether he will confirm that he agrees with Gunter Verheugen, the European Commissioner responsible for enlargement, "that our strategic goal is to take a united Cyprus as a new member, and that reaching that goal requires constructive and substantial progress towards a lasting solution", stated the following:
"I confirm that we strongly endorse the European objective of accepting a united island into the European Union as part of the enlargement process. The Cypriots want to join. If the island were not united, we would still accept Cyprus's entrance to the European Union. We would not allow anyone to veto that provided that the Cypriots had completed the full process of negotiation and closed all the chapters. Currently they are in the lead among all the applicant countries in doing so."
Invited to make a statement on the progress being made towards EU enlargement Mr Hain said:
"The enlargement negotiations continue to make good progress, enabling candidates that are ready to join the EU to do so by 2004".
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/