Cyprus will participate with other nations to form a response to Russia’s intention to hold referenda in annexed areas of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said after an extraordinary summit of foreign ministers from around the world in New York.
“We, in Cyprus, are particularly interested in the issue of creating a precedent for annexations,” he said, “we will also participate together with the other partners in the response”.
The summit was convened “following President Putin’s address and the intentions for referendums on the annexation of occupied territories of Ukraine,” Kasoulides said, adding “this issue is considered to be particularly serious and there will certainly be many reactions, perhaps with additional sanctions”.
The summit was held on the sideline of the ongoing UN general assembly in New York, where Kasoulides travelled with President Nicos Anastasiades.
Meanwhile a meeting that Anastasiades was due to have with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at 1am Cyprus time on Thursday was cancelled.
Government spokesman Marios Pelekanos told CyBC radio that this was because of developments in Ukraine and the decrees issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin the previous day.
Instructions had been sent from the EU, Pelekanos said, to cancel all bilateral contacts with Russia.
The meeting has been planned in advance and was also due to address reports that direct flights from Russia were to begin to Ercan airport in the north.
In view of events in Armenia, Kasoulides said he and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had a trilateral meeting with their counterpart from there to “express our solidarity with the suffering Armenian people, who for us are a brotherly people”.
A trilateral meeting was also held between the ministers from Cyprus, Greece and Egypt where they discussed the possibility of holding further 3+1 style meetings, inviting other EU member states to attend.
The three also discussed Libya.
He also had a string of bilateral meetings which will continue on Thursday.
“It is an intense activity that ‘cuts the way’, as we say in Cyprus,” the minister said, adding that the general assembly is a first-class opportunity for contacts both at the level of heads of state and foreign ministers.