A planned statement on the collapse of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty was blocked by non-NATO member European Union countries including Cyprus because it was apparently too tough on Russia, already under sanctions, said Politico.
Cyprus has been accused previously of going easy on Russia, wanting to keep money from oligarchs flowing into Cypriot banks accused of being a tax haven for criminal funds and money laundering.
Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said: “There was a common position adopted in a silence procedure, which was not accepted by one member-state. Not Cyprus. Then there was a new plan, which was rejected by Sweden, Austria, Ireland, Greece, and Cyprus, while other member-states believed it to also be unsatisfactory.”
The report said this was likely done in exchange for Russia’s support at the UN Security Council for the extension of UNFICY’s peacekeeping mandate for another six months on the island that’s been divided since an unlawful 1974 Turkish invasion.
With the EU requiring votes be unanimous, it’s become difficult for the bloc to make any decisions.
“I have been a skeptic, but after the disarray of the last few days on a series of issues I think we must seriously consider abandoning the unanimity rule when deciding EU foreign policy on certain issues,” said Carl bildt, Co-Chair European Council on Foreign Relations.