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US renews partial waiver on arms embargo

Closet candidate: Nikos Christodoulides

The US Department of State has renewed for one more year the partial waiver on the arms embargo on Cyprus.

In a notice published Thursday in the Federal Register, the daily journal of the United States government, the State Department said it is extending “the effective period of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (Itar) temporary modification to allow the temporary removal of prohibitions on exports, reexports, retransfers, and temporary imports of non-lethal defence articles and defence services destined for or originating in the Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus) through September 30, 2022, unless modified.”

Under the National Defence Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2020 and the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Act, “the policy of denial for exports, reexports, or transfers of defence articles on the United States Munitions List (Usml) to Cyprus shall remain in place unless the President determines and certifies to the appropriate Congressional Committees not less than annually that: (A) Cyprus is continuing to cooperate with the US Government in anti-money laundering reforms; and (B) Cyprus has taken the steps necessary to deny Russian military vessels access to ports for refuelling and servicing.

“These provisions further provide that the President may waive these limitations for one fiscal year if the President determines that it is essential to the national security interests of the United States to do so.”

Commenting on the extension, Cyprus’ Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides posted on his Twitter account:

“Today’s decision of the United States for renewal of the partial waiver of Itar restrictions vis a vis Cyprus for another fiscal year constitutes a step in the right direction towards the full lifting of restrictions, reflecting the growing geostrategic importance of US-Cyprus relations.”

Cyprus had been embargoed since 1987 under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation, a US body which restricts the export of defence and military goods. In 2020 the US partially lifted the embargo, on conditions.




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