Cyprus Mail

Akel blasts Neophytou over Russia comments

Disy leader Averoff Neophytou

Main opposition Akel said on Tuesday that ruling party leader Averof Neophytou must think twice before making reference to foreign states, especially UN Security Council members, a day after the Russian embassy issued a statement suggesting he was acting on behalf of other countries in trying to ruin relations between Moscow and Nicosia.

The embassy’s reaction came a day after Neophytou gave an interview in which he said Russia, perceived as a staunch supporter of Cyprus, was looking towards Turkey for political and energy reasons.

The DISY chief also reiterated his party’s position that Cyprus belonged to the West.

“Russia, which has been supportive towards Cyprus so far, has many more interests and is eying Turkey, not only for political but also for energy reasons,” Neophytou told Phileleftheros.

He said it was logical for them to look after their national interests and no country would support another instead of them.

“When we understand this we will make better analyses and see things better,” he said. “So, I don’t see that the USA suddenly fell in love with Cyprus. On one hand they don’t want an increase of Russian influence in our neighbourhood and on the other they want development of the Eastern Mediterranean basin’s energy resources.”

Moscow’s reaction came on Monday evening through a news release in which it reiterated that its long-standing stance on Cyprus had not changed.

“Moreover, our contacts with Ankara play into the hands of Cypriots, since they make it possible to bring this position directly to the Turkish leadership,” the embassy said. “Apparently, some partners of the Republic of Cyprus would like to drive a wedge between Russia and Cyprus in order to deter Russia in the Eastern Mediterranean region.”

Akel found Moscow’s reaction “justified” since Neophytou was the leader of the ruling party.

“He must be twice as careful in his references to foreign states, especially a member of the UN Security Council, with which our country has always had excellent relations,” AKEL, a nominally communist party said.

The party questioned what DISY aimed at by disputing Russia’s clear positions on Cyprus.

Akel said history showed that Cyprus would not benefit from attaching itself to the US or anyone else.

Cyprus, the party said, must develop relations with all countries and maintain positions of principle on international issues.

“Even inside the EU, our interest and duty are not to accept anything someone promotes without judgement, but to put forward positions of principle.”

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