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Cyprus president says many EU countries oppose sanctions against Russia — report

Many countries within EU support diplomatic ways to resolve the crisis and not additional sanctions against Russia, the Cyprus Weekly newspaper quotes the island's president as saying
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades EPA/JUSTIN LANE
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades

NICOSIA, February 6. /TASS/. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades says his country opposes additional sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine and that many European Union member states share that view.

In comments reported by the Cyprus Weekly newspaper on Friday he said: "It is a positive aspect that many countries within the EU stick to this view at present. They support diplomatic ways [to resolve the crisis] and not additional sanctions against Russia."

"We want to avoid further deterioration of relations between Russia and the European Union," the president said in the report.

Speaking of his visit to Moscow on February 25, the island's leader noted the permanence of traditionally good relations between Cyprus and Russia. The two sides would sign a number of documents in the Russian capital, including an updated agreement on military cooperation, the report said.

"We have an old [defense] pact which needs to be updated," the president was quoted as saying, adding that Cyprus would offer Russia additional opportunities available to countries such as France and Germany to use the Andreas Papandreou military airbase near Paphos.