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 Crimea's joining Russia and 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."
Russia has sought Mediterranean ports for its navy to visit since Moscow lost a military maintenance base on Syria’s coast during fighting between anti-government rebels and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, whom Putin has supported in the nearly four-year conflict.