The Presidential Palace and Foreign Ministry are reluctant to strongly condemn the Russian invasion in Ukraine and this seems to annoy the leadership of ruling Disy, Philenews reported on Thursday.
Disy deputy leader Haris Georgiades who also heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee has twice sent the message that Russia’s invasion leaves no room for ‘a slap on the hand’ stand.
Nicosia toes the European Union line and has imposed agreed sanctions against Moscow but President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides appear keen to also keep communication channels with Russia open.
Statements made by the Russian ambassador in Cyprus have annoyed Nicosia which chose to follow the diplomatic path and avoided a strong reaction and note verbales. Because, insiders said, they want to avoid additional difficulties in Cyprus-Russian relations.
However, this careful handling is not what Disy wants with Georgiades condemnin the ambassador’s ‘veiled threats’ that Cyprus’ economy is at stake following its alignment with the EU’s sanctions. And that Nicosia is shooting its own foot since Russian tourists are the backbone of the Mediterranean island’s tourism industry.
The Disy leadership believe Cyprus – still divided since Turkey’s 1974 invasion – cannot afford to be ‘lenient’ with any country which violates the sovereignty of another one.