Russia is ‘no enemy’ of Greece or Cyprus

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there is no reason for Greece and Cyprus to fear Moscow as their enemy despite what Washington says.

He stressed that Russia has “very warm and close relations, a spiritual connection” with Greece and Cyprus and that there is no underlying enmity between anyone in Russia, Greece and Cyprus.

According to a statement issued by the Russian Embassy in Nicosia, Lavrov made the comments during a press conference when asked about statements by US diplomats that Russia has changed its stance towards Greece and Cyprus.

“If American diplomats are saying this in Greece and Cyprus, they also say it in every other country,” said Lavrov.

“I can see no reason why these countries should be persuaded that Russia is an enemy of theirs or has carried out an unfriendly policy towards them.

“Someone is trying to convince them, but politicians with common sense can see the whole truth: that they are only trying to make an enemy out of the Russian Federation.”

Lavrov said, “there is no diplomacy here, only crude public leverage.”

He added, “there is no underlying enmity between anyone in Russia, Greece and Cyprus.”

Lavrov visited Cyprus last September and recently spoke with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides by telephone.

In December, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Russia threatens Mediterranean stability using disinformation, undermining national sovereignty, sowing chaos, conflict, and division.

In a written statement he claimed: “wealthy Russians – many with connections to the Kremlin – have laundered billions of dollars through the Republic of Cyprus and Malta, distorting their domestic markets and spreading corruption.”

Last year, the United States lifted a three-decade-old arms embargo on Cyprus to allow “non-lethal” military goods to be sold.

Under the new act, the United States will still restrict certain sensitive technologies to Cyprus unless the US certifies that Nicosia is denying Russia military vessels port access for refuelling and servicing.