By Staff Reporter
IN the wake of developments in Brussels yesterday warning Russia of new sanctions over Ukraine, President Nicos Anastasiades said Cyprus would follow the developments closely and “will defend its interests in the best possible way”.
Cyprus is worried that further EU sanctions on Russia would adversely affect the island’s crippled economy. He has previously said that the needs of each EU member state be taken into account in the event of new sanctions on Russia.
“With regard to issues concerning energy and more specifically in relation to the effort to terminate the dependence of the European Union on certain sources and energy routes I stressed that Cyprus, as a member state with recent important discoveries of hydrocarbons within its Exclusive Economic Zone, can contribute decisively to the effort of the EU for the completion of the internal energy market and the development of the necessary connections, in order to end any energy isolation,” he said. “At the same time, Cyprus has a substantial role to play with regard to the reinforcement of the energy security in the EU.”
Anastasiades said he believes the Eastern Mediterranean region can become an energy production and supply hub of natural gas and that Cyprus as a future producer of natural gas was an integral part of this planning.
“I welcome the fact that our partners acknowledge our country as an alternative energy route for Europe. Within this framework we shall be in continuous contact with the European Commission for the coordination of our actions,” he said.
The President added that the geostrategic position of Cyprus as well as its excellent relations with the Arab world and Israel, could contribute to this. He said Cyprus “utilising its strategic location is ready to contribute to the common goal for further enhancement of the EU foreign policy.”