President Nikos Anastasiades told France24 in an interview aired on Thursday that Russian and Turkish revisionism were comparable, that he remains firm on bizonal bicommunal federation, and that seizing Russian oligarchs’ assets was not as easy as some might think.
“Russia’s invasion in Ukraine takes place using the exact same arguments that Turkey used to invade Cyprus,” he said.
“Turkey’s behavior, Blue Homeland, is the Turkish revisionism that does not only affect Cyprus, but it challenges Greece’ sovereignty over the Aegean Sea and intervenes in Libya, Syria, and Iraq,” the president added.
The president said that the passage of time was dangerous, that the Greek-Cypriot efforts towards resolution have been enduring and entailed significant concessions, and he reiterated his position on a bizonal bicommunal federation as determined by numerous UN resolutions.
“During the years we have agreed on the legislative power, the judiciary, the composition of the executive power, and what remains to be resolved is the territorial issue, the property issue, and the way of governance – the worst claim being that Cyprus must remain under a Turkish guarantee. Imagine Russia being guarantor of Ukraine, it is exactly the same,” the president said.
As far as hydrocarbons are concerned, the president said that despite Turkish claims on Cyprus’ EEZ “we have proposed to Turkey to either appeal to the International Court of Justice or, through arbitration based on International Law of the Sea, to agree on a dividing line between the EEZ’ of the two countries.”
Responding to the presence of Russian oligarchs on the island Anastasiades, clarified that of the 1,300 oligarchs and people involved in the war against Ukraine on the EU blacklist only eight hold a Cypriot passport, saying that instructions had been issued for Cypriot citizenship to be revoked in compliance with the common EU line.
Asked whether the Cypriot government will seize Russian oligarchs’ assets as a response to the war, Anastasiades said “as with other constitutions, there is a problem” and that “it’s not as easy as some may think.”