The Russian Foreign Ministry has taken issue with the US’ Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership bill, saying it raised questions as to its possible impact on Moscow’s cooperation with Nicosia.
“The bill, that was prepared within the framework of Cyprus-American relations, contains the provisions which are directly aimed at undermining Russian-Cypriot cooperation. Russia always strictly follows the principle of non-interference in the relations with other countries. We reasonably consider that no one has the right to interfere into our fruitful dialogue with the Republic of Cyprus that is being conducted for many years,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
And it added: ” We consider any attempts to set an independent and sovereign country before an artificial choice with whom to cooperate, with Russia or Washington, as the most blatant violation of any possible rules and norms. In this context, if the above-mentioned document is adopted, we intend to seriously take into account its consequences for our foreign policy.”
The East-Med Act bill approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and due to be discussed by the full Senate included two amendments which require Cyprus to cooperate with the United States Government in efforts to implement reforms on anti-money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight and to take steps to deny access to its ports of Russian military vessels for refuelling and servicing.
President Nicos Anastasiades described the amendments made to the bipartisan legislation as “unfortunate.”
Akel general secretary Andros Kyprianou who is in Moscow and yesterday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Lavrov has voiced concern about the bill, adding that Russia was concerned that the US was trying to bolster its position in the Eastern Mediterranean.