The leader of Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church says he will ask the Russian Patriarch to stop a Russian priest conducting services in the Turkish-occupied north of the divided island nation.
Archbishop Chrysostomos II says the Cypriot church doesn't wish its Russian counterpart to meddle in its domestic affairs or create its own parishes on the island.
He said he would also appeal to Russian authorities through Patriarch Kirill to convince any Russians living in the north to leave.
Cyprus was split along ethnic lines in 1974, when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece.
Chrystostomos said Friday the Cyprus church has its own Russian-speaking clergy to conduct services in the internationally recognized, Greek-Cypriot south, where many Russian expatriates live.