The maritime order issued by Turkey earlier this month, prompting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (photo) to halt reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots, is due to come into effect on Monday.

The instructions, also known as a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, are for a Turkish research vessel to explore within the boundaries of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.

However, the order will be effective on the same day that Russian warships armed with missiles will be conducting exercises in the same waters.

Nicosia’s agreement with Russia for the naval exercises to take place was secured before Turkey issued its NAVTEX.

Nevertheless, Moscow has shown an interest in standing by Anastasiades in the face of Turkish provocation. The Cypriot leader met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan last week.