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Thursday, February 18, 1999 Published at 16:34 GMT

World: Europe

Cyprus and Russia reach agreement on missiles

The Cypriot Defence Minister, Ioannis Khrisostimis, has signed an agreement in Moscow on the deployment of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the Greek island of Crete.

The value of the contract, with the Russian arms company, Rosvooruzheniye, is believed to be worth between three- and- five hundred million dollars.

Cyprus cancelled an earlier shipment of missiles that it planned to deploy on its territory after Turkey threatened military retaliation.

Under a recent agreement signed in Athens, Greece agreed to accept the missiles, although they will remain the property of Cyprus. The American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has praised the decision by the Cypriot government not to deploy the missiles on its territory and urged all sides to work towards agreement on the island's future.

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