Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades called off a scheduled meeting early on Thursday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.
This is what government spokesman Marios Pelekanos told state radio early on Thursday.
The meeting was to take place around 1am on Thursday (local time) but the call by Russia for a referendum to annex swaths of Ukrainian territory had prompted Anastasiades’ cancellation.
Part of EU-member Cyprus’ territory is under Turkish occupation since a 1974 bloody invasion and threats by Ankara to annex that part are ongoing.
A country under constant threat by an enemy country cannot tolerate such behavior, the spokesman also said.
At the same time, Lavrov will face off on Thursday with his Ukrainian and Western counterparts – including U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken – when the United Nations Security Council meets over atrocities committed in Ukraine.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan will brief the 15-member body, which is meeting during the annual gathering of world leaders for the U.N. General Assembly.