NICOSIA – Already upset over a European Union ban on Russian airlines over the invasion of Ukraine that cost Cyprus a key tourist market, President Nicos Anastasiades indicated he won’t go along with more penalties if they don’t work.
“Some concerns have already been raised by the Cypriot government regarding the sixth sanctions package,” he said, adding that the measures should be targeted – which other countries have said over thei reluctance.
“The impact on member states should be taken into account by European partners so that instead of being sanctions against the invader, they do not end up being sanctions against the member states themselves,” he said.
He said, mimicking other country’s leaders, that they support the sanctions unless it goes against their self-interests which could render them moot if every country acts on its own and starts backing away.
“What exists is that if and when some of the proposed measures that we have identified and documented have shown that they do not help, and are not in line with the goal pursued by the EU, then simply those specific measures will not be adopted,” he said, reported The Cyprus Mail.
With Finland and Sweden seeking NATO entry as protection against potential Russian aggression, he said it’s too soon to indicate whether Cyprus would try as well.
That would likely be moot as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will block Sweden and Finland from getting in and doesn’t recognize Cyprus, a member of the EU, and would almost certainly veto any attempt by the island’s government from being admitted, especially with Turkey occupying the northern third since unlawful 1974 invasions.
“Even if it were the wish of the Cypriot government, there would be a collision against procedural matters, especially Turkey’s objection,” Anastasiades said, explaining that unanimity is required for NATO membership.
“Apart from that, we are a small country, we need protection of course, and the issue is to make that protection effective and for any decisions to be approved by the people,” he concluded.