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EU-Russia sanctions, countersanctions should end — Cypriot official

October 16, 2014, 13:03 UTC+3 NICOSIA
We believe that Russia has a strategic partnership of the European Union and we should safeguard it, the government spokesman of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Christodoulides said
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© AP Photo/Yves Logghe

NICOSIA, October 16. /TASS/. A wave of sanctions and countersanctions between the European Union and Russia should immediately stop, the government spokesman of the Republic of Cyprus said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.

“We need to do everything possible to avert the cycle of sanctions and then countersanctions from Russia which have negatively affected all of us and especially the strategic value of the relationship between the European Union and Russia,” Nicos Christodoulides said.

“We believe that Russia has a strategic partnership of the European Union and we should safeguard it,” Christodoulides said.

The government spokesman also urged to work on the comprehensive implementation of the Minsk agreements on the situation in eastern Ukraine.

“It is very important to concentrate on this in order to safeguard stability in Ukraine, and of course stability in our common neighborhood because it is the common neighborhood of Russia and the European Union,” Christodoulides said.

“We believe that nobody benefits if the relationship between the European Union and Russia will not come back to normal,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week that Europe may lose €40 billion from unilateral anti-Russian sanctions this year and another €50 billion in 2015.

Russia-Cuprus relations

The Cyprus leadership considers Russia as a traditional and credible partner and is against contrasting these ties with the relations with the United States, the government spokesman of the Republic of Cyprus said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who assumed office in February last year, announced that the country’s policy will be revised, but stressed that this new realignment “in no way is taking place against our traditional friends and especially Russia,” Nicos Christodoulides said.

Christodoulides said the relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States are of a “strategic character” proved by Washington’s increased interest to the region.

In remarks to the statement, Christodoulides said, “We have relations with each country at a different level. It’s not only political relationship. It’s also economic relations, tourism relations and cultural relations. With Russia, we have all those kind of relations.” “The problem is that maybe in the past, our relations with the United States were not so close,” Christodoulides said. “We don’t approach our relations with the US as a zero-sum game. It does not mean that we are against Russia,” he added.

“If we are working to enhance our relations with the United States, it’s not against the United States we are working to enhance our relations with Russia,” he stressed.

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