Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

Written statement by the Government Spokesman, Mr Marios Pelekanos

The President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, participated on Thursday, 10 March 2022, in the deliberations of the first day of the Informal Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the EU member states, in Versailles, which aimed at diagnosing the new environment in Europe, in the light of the Ukrainian crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the responses by the Union.

In his intervention during the deliberations of the afternoon session of the Plenary, President Anastasiades pointed out that the Republic of Cyprus, as a country under occupation for almost 48 years that continues to experience the consequences of the Turkish invasion, fully understands what is now happening in Ukraine and expressed Cyprus’ firm support for the diplomatic efforts to end the war.

He also referred to issues of strengthening the EU’s defence capabilities in order to be able to act as a reliable security provider, where necessary, in the wider EU neighbourhood, including the Eastern Mediterranean region.

President Anastasiades also stressed that the threats and challenges that the European Union and its member states face from Turkey should be taken into account in the EU’s relevant plans.

On the issue of the EU’s energy independence, the President of the Republic referred to the important role that Cyprus can play, inter alia through partnerships with countries of the wider region for the transfer of energy to Europe. In this context, he referred in particular to natural gas during this transitional period, to the diversification of energy supply sources and routes through the implementation of cross-border interconnections, such as, for example, the electrical interconnection of the Eastern Mediterranean region with Europe as planned through the Euroafrica and Euroasia interconnectors, as well as to the significant prospects for the transfer of green energy, including hydrogen as a raw material, from the wider Middle East region to Europe.

The President of the Republic stressed that the EU’s immediate, united and decisive reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine demonstrates the Union’s ability to take decisions on such issues, regardless of the cost.

The President of the Republic deplored Turkey’s unacceptable attitude not to align itself with the sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, since, apart from serving its own interests, it also significantly affects the effectiveness of the measures, which ultimately aim at exerting pressure to end the raging war.