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Cyprus parliament tells UN “up yours” over Russia sanctions

27 March, 2014

A resolution proposed by all opposition parties in the Cyprus parliament has called on the government to reject any measures or sanctions at international bodies that would jeopardise the country’s relations with Russia.
The motion, co-signed by 34 deputies from the communist Akel party, the centre-right and former coalition partner Democratic Party (Diko), the socialist Edek and the single-seat Citizens’ Alliance, said that as a key member of the UN Security Council, “Russia has supported the just cause of the Republic of Cyprus in critical times.”
It added that a Security Council resolution on Crimea “would endanger the crucial interests of the Republic of Cyprus and put at risk the vital relations of Cyprus with the Russian Federation.”
Earlier in the day, President Nicos Anastasiades, whose ruling Democratic Rally (Disy) party's 20 MPs did not sign the motion, told university students from Greece that Cyprus has upgraded its foreign strategic relations with energy neighbours Israel, Lebanon and Egypt, as well as with the U.S.
“I believe that we have achieved significant progress in our relations and a more intense American interest for the creation of prospects either for the implementation of confidence building measures or for assisting in reaching a solution” to the Cyprus problem, he said.
However, he added that “upgrading our relations with the United States did not, in any way, affect our excellent relations with Russia, with which historical bonds bind us along with a consistent support at the Security Council. Today, especially in view of the economic crisis, the role of investments, due to tourism and other sectors, is being upgraded, even of the defense planning which has been linked from the past to Russian industries. Moreover, the financial support of €2.5 bln we have received from Russia is something that cannot be overlooked.”