Russian-speaking citizens of the Republic are volunteering to serve in the National Guard as reservists and have proposed creating a separate unit, according to a letter sent to the defence minister by the I the Citizen (EOP) party.
The party said it was saddened to hear that over half the reservists failed to report for duty for various reasons, an “unacceptable state of affairs for a country that is semi occupied and in a ceasefire since 1974.”
It said Russian-speaking citizens have been accused of not doing military service and not caring to protect the country of which they are citizens.
“We also know of citizens with Cypriot citizenship who applied to the defence ministry to join the reservists, but their request was not accepted because the existing legislation does not provide for such a thing,” EOP said.
The party said it had canvassed Russian-speaking citizens and most said they were ready to volunteer and fight for the country if necessary.
“A lot are willing to participate voluntarily in the National Guard’s reserve units and train,” it said.
The party proposed the creation of a separate unit to host the volunteers.
It urged Defence Minister Savvas Angelides to take their request seriously and amend the law if necessary, to allow Russian-speaking citizens to serve.