Russia’s ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy on Thursday said he was surprised to hear his US counterpart saying his country was playing a destabilising role in the region, arguing that Washington wanted to damage relations between Nicosia and Moscow.
Osadchiy, in a statement, said that if one discusses the destabilisation of the situation in the region, “it is enough to remember the US activities in such countries as Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya.”
The Russian ambassador was commenting on statements on Wednesday by his US counterpart Judith Garber that Russia was playing a very destabilising role in the region, particularly in Syria.
She was discussing the US government’s decision to partially lift the arms embargo on Cyprus by allowing for a year the sale or transfer of non-lethal defence articles and services to Cyprus.
Garber had pointed out that the legislation that enabled the policy decision calls on the Republic of Cyprus to continue its efforts to implement strong anti-money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight, and to take the steps necessary to deny Russian military vessels access to ports for refuelling and servicing. She said her country urges the Republic of Cyprus to take those steps.
Osadchiy said he was taken aback by the comment on Russia’s destabilising role.
“We believe that before criticising anyone, someone should look at himself,” he said. “We would like to remind that Russia, unlike the USA, is legally present in Syria on the invitation of the official government of Damascus and it was due to her help, that the backbone of terrorism in that country was broken and the appearance of a terrorist stronghold there, which would have endangered the whole Mediterranean region, was prevented.”
Unfortunately, he said, the US’s ‘divide and rule’ tactics are used “to be friends only for the sake of its own benefit and against someone else, and not for the sake of friendship itself.”
He added the US wanted to damage relations between Moscow and Nicosia by putting pressure on the latter to deny access to Russian military ships to the ports of Cyprus.
“Those who say that strengthening of cooperation with the USA in the region is not directed against anyone obviously underestimate the real aims of Washington,” Osadchiy said.