10:50 Jul. 8, 2016
The Parliament of Cyprus called on the government to lift anti-Russian sanctions
Cyprus' parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution calling to end the European Union sanctions imposed on Russia over the country's role in Ukraine conflict.
33 lawmakers from the 56-seat legislature voted in favour of the motion, while 17 from abstained.
In the resolution, lawmakers said the EU sanctions had proved "counterproductive and in no way helped to resolve the crisis in Ukraine".
"The sanctions imposed by the EU on Russian nationals, particularly on members of the State Duma of the Russian Federation are unacceptable," the resolution read.
Many of these Russian nationals and officials were friends of Cyprus, it noted.
Nicosia enjoys close relations with Moscow, which it views as an ally in the region. A sizeable Russian community lives on the Mediterranean island, where Russia makes up the second largest tourism market.
The Russia's Foreign Ministry welcomed the move, saying it reflected "the will of a sweeping majority of the people of Cyprus to restore mutually beneficial commercial and economic ties with Russia".
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, in its turn, condemned the resolution, saying that in such a way Cyprus' parliament supports the aggressor state:
"Although the resolution itself is not legally binding, the fact of its adoption creates concern. It shows the disregard by certain Cypriot deputies for the fundamental principles of international relations based on international law," the MFA of Ukraine said in its comment on the vote.
Based on reporting by AFP