President Nicos Anastasiades underlined Cyprus’ role in providing the European Union with energy and the problems posed by Turkey not backing EU sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine.
During his remarks to EU leaders at the informal European Council summit in Versailles, France, he also pointed out that plans to strengthen Europe’s defence need to consider the threats and challenges that Cyprus and Greece face from Turkey.
According to a written statement, President Anastasiades said in his intervention that Cyprus: “As a country under occupation for almost 48 years that continues to experience the consequences of the Turkish invasion, fully understands what is happening now in Ukraine”.
Anastasiades said Cyprus could provide energy for Europe, among other things, “through partnerships with states in our wider region to transfer energy to Europe”.
He stressed the role of natural gas as a transitional energy source and the need to diversify the EU’s energy sources and routes “through the implementation of cross-border interconnections”.
“The electrical interconnection of the Eastern Mediterranean region with Europe as planned through the EurofArica and EuroAsia interconnectors, and the important prospects for the transfer of green energy, including hydrogen as raw material, from the wider Middle East region to Europe are examples.
“The EU’s immediate, united and decisive reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates the Union’s ability to make decisions on such issues, regardless of the cost.”
Anastasiades “deplored the unacceptable attitude of Turkey not to align itself with the sanctions imposed on Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine; it is not only self-serving but also has a significant impact on the effectiveness of the measures, which aim to exert pressure to end the war”.
Referring to strengthening the EU’s defence capabilities, he said Brussels “should also take into account threats and challenges that the European Union and its Member States face from Turkey”.