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Cyprus conditionally closes airspace to Russian planes

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Cyprus Monday closed its airspace to Russian planes under agreed EU sanction but reserved the right to change its mind if Turkey does not do the same.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said Cyprus supported humanitarian aid to Ukraine and targeted restrictive measures against Russia.

Nicosia agreed to shut European airspace to Russian planes, but the Foreign Minister noted that Cyprus consents without prejudice to its right to reconsider the decision if Turkey refuses to shut its airspace.

Kasoulides said Nicosia has the right to reconsider if “Turkey refuses to proceed with closing its own airspace and proceeds with instrumentalizing this European decision, to attract and/ or transfer Russian citizens to the occupied areas of Cyprus”.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades also discussed the matter Sunday during a telephone call with the European Commission President.

EU Foreign Ministers reviewed the situation in Ukraine and agreed on practical ways concerning the bloc’s reaction and its support to Ukraine.

Foreign Ministers agreed, among others, to intensify efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and impose targeted restrictive measures on Russia in the framework of the SWIFT bank payment system.

Additionally, they agreed to provide military equipment to Ukraine – the first time the EU had agreed to do so — and shut European airspace to Russian planes.

The Cyprus Post suspended all postal services to Russia and Belarus except the Quickpost courier service.