Russia Sanctions ‘Seriously Hit’ Cyprus Economy
World Economy

Russia Sanctions ‘Seriously Hit’ Cyprus Economy

The sanctions, imposed on Russia by the European Union, badly affected Cyprus, official government spokesman of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides said.
“Cyprus’s economy has been seriously hit by the impact of sanctions and counter-sanctions due to our exposure to the Russian factor and our high degree of financial and economic interdependence not only in the tourism … investments sectors, but also in the field of defense,” Christodoulides told Sputnik.
The spokesman expressed hope that relations between EU and Russia would soon be restored. He stressed that Nicosia has “from the very beginning voiced its support for productive dialogue with the Russian Federation”.
Christodoulides also underlined that Cyprus shares the position that “sanctions against Russia are not an effective way to address the Ukrainian crisis.”
The Ukrainian crisis prompted the 28-nation bloc to impose several rounds of economic sanctions against Russian individuals and entities. Moscow responded last August with a one-year ban on food imports from the EU, as well as against other countries that introduced anti-Russia restrictions.

Cyprus disapproves of the European Union’s neglect of official procedures over the issue of an anti-Russia sanctions statement made in January, Christodoulides said.
The spokesman was referring to an incident when the European Council (EC) published a document without a Cyprus’ feedback on it.
“We certainly hope that it was a very unfortunate misunderstanding of the procedure to which we openly protested,” he said.
Christodoulidis explained that Cyprus did not have the opportunity to participate in the discussion process as “the time limitations regarding this particular statement were very narrow”.
The draft of the document was sent only to the director of then-president Nicos Anastasiades’ diplomatic office, but he was on a flight to Saudi Arabia at the time and did not have a chance to respond.
The spokesman said that Cyprus’ concerns were shared by other EU member states.
On January 27, the European Council issued a statement on new anti-Russia sanctions without some EU members’ consent, whereas the statement said all 28 EU leaders had agreed on the content. Cyprus and Greece expressed their disapproval of the European Council’s actions over the matter.
  President’s Visit
Nicosia is expecting the visit of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to Moscow to be the stimulus for an economic boost between the two countries, Christodoulides said.
“We trust that this visit will provide a new boost to the prolific economic relations of the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation,” he said.
According to Christodoulides, Nicosia is expecting to finalize and sign a number of documents in view of the visit that would prove its political will to deepen its cooperation with Russia which is estimated as “one of the most important economic partners of Cyprus”.
The spokesman underlined that Nicosia aims to express its “deep appreciation” for Russia’s upholding of a “principled position” and respect for international law on the Cyprus issue.


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