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Cyprus must adhere to financial reforms to keep arms embargo lifted

Υπουργός Άμυνας Εθνικό μνημόσυνο Στέλιου Μαυρομάτη και άλλων ηρώων
Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides

The complete lifting of the arms embargo on Cyprus by the US comes into force on Saturday, following an announcement by the State Department on September 17.

The lifting of the embargo was confirmed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in congress and applies for the 2023 fiscal year, after which it will be subject to annual reviews that will evaluate Cyprus’ adherence to relevant regulations.

A State Department representative explained that “according to the East Med Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 and the National Defence Authorisation Act, the prohibition of exports, re-exports or transfers of defence material from the US to the Republic of Cyprus must remain in place, unless the US President determines and certifies to the appropriate committees of Congress, within a period of not less than one year, that the government of the Republic of Cyprus continues to work with the US government to implement reforms related to money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight”.

Also, the US decision provides that “it should be ensured that the Republic of Cyprus has taken and continues to take the necessary measures to deny Russian military vessels access to the ports for supply and servicing”.

On September 19, Cyprus and the United States signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) agreement.

The agreement was signed by Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides and US Ambassador Judith Garber aboard United States Naval Ship YUMA.

Petrides said during the signing of the agreement that this important development will contribute to the promotion of peace, stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He described the lifting of the embargo as a historic decision for Cyprus, and stressed that all possibilities for further deepening bilateral cooperation will be examined.

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