President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday expressed the solidarity of Cyprus with Ukraine and its people, as well as his support to the diplomatic efforts being made to end the Russian offensive.

Anastasiades participated in a preparatory teleconference convened by President of the European Council Charles Michel ahead of the EU Summit on Thursday and Friday, which will discuss the situation in Ukraine, energy, EU security and defence and other issues.

In a written statement Government Spokesman Marios Pelekanos said the teleconference was attended by the prime ministers of Sweden, Belgium, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Poland.

Anastasiades referred to the suffering of Ukrainian refugees and the fact that Cyprus is among the EU member states which receives refugees from Ukraine and provides the necessary help, Pelekanos said.

The president also referred to the imposed sanctions and underlined that right now attention must be given to their implementation, noting that there are third countries, such as Turkey, which have not abided by the decisions taken.

Pelekanos also said that the President stressed that Turkey’s refusal to align with the EU sanctions is not only selfish, but also undermines their impact.

Furthermore, the president noted that the major issue is of food security, in light of the dependencies on cereals imported by Russia and Ukraine and the deficiencies that may emerge, Pelekanos noted.

He added that President Anastasiades agreed with the need of EU leaders to have an in depth discussion regarding ways to effectively address the increase of prices.

The president also noted that Cyprus, in cooperation with other countries of the region, will be in a position to effectively contribute to the energy independence which the EU promotes, supplying the European market with energy, among others, via electricity connection projects, Pelekanos said.