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Cyprus reaffirms solidarity with independent Ukraine

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Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides reaffirmed Cyprus’ principled stance and unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as it celebrates 31 years of independence.

He told the Second Summit of Crimea Platform: “Ι am greatly honoured to have the opportunity to reaffirm Cyprus’ principled stance and our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Minister pointed out that the Republic of Cyprus, itself the victim of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation since 1974, is a strong proponent of international law principles, including the inviolability of borders, condemning the threat or use of force.

“These serve as the cornerstone of the rules-based international order and the foundation of peace, according to the UN Charter.

“In this regard, we also support Ukraine’s just claim to restore the territory occupied by Russia since 2014 and as a result of the ongoing war, and we condemn annexation”.

Kasoulides reminded that Cyprus took a clear stance in 2014, condemning Russia’s illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sebastopol and did not hesitate to take a similarly responsible stance after Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“Our strong resolve to address actions challenging the international order and security has been evident by our determined approach to impose, collectively as EU member states, restrictive measures against Russia.

“Both in 2014 and 2022, our decisions were not taken light-heartedly but with full awareness of their impact on our national economies.”

He said the determination and unity shown at the international level offer hope for the future, for countering actions by countries defying international law.

He reassured President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people that the government and the people of Cyprus stand with Ukraine at these difficult times and will continue offering support so that peace and stability may prevail.

Attacks

Zelensky has warned Russia of a strong response to any possible independence day attacks.

He said Ukrainian intelligence is working with foreign intelligence, warning that Russia “will receive a powerful response”.

Zelensky also said Ukraine will not agree to any proposal to freeze the current frontlines in its conflict with Russia to “calm” Moscow, which now controls about 22% of Ukraine, including Crimea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “special military operation” into neighbouring Ukraine began on February 24, with Russian forces invading from Belarus.

Ukrainian troops have offered “stiff resistance,” according to U.S. officials.

The Russian military has since launched a full-scale ground offensive in eastern Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region, capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol and securing a coastal corridor to the Moscow-annexed Crimean Peninsula.