No border change using military force and no act of secession can be acceptable, said the President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou, who participated on Tuesday in the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Platform for Crimea, in Zagreb, at the invitation of Presidents of the Parliaments of Croatia and Ukraine.

According to a statement by the House of Representatives, the Summit’s aim was to establish and promote the parliamentary dimension of the Platform for Crimea, which aims to restore international legitimacy to the illegally Russian occupied peninsula of Crimea and bring it back under the control of Ukraine.

In her intervention, the House President condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and reaffirmed the unwavering support of the Republic of Cyprus to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders.

Cyprus, underlined Demetriou, which was invaded by Turkey in 1974 and is still experiencing, after 48 years, the consequences of the continued occupation of part of its territory by Turkey, knows very well how traumatic an experience war is and its consequences. Therefore, she stressed, Cyprus has an additional reason to stand by Ukraine and its people, based on the same principles that have been flagrantly violated in Cyprus.

Based on these principles, the President of the Parliament pointed out, the Republic of Cyprus has unequivocally condemned the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia in 2014.

The Republic of Cyprus, she noted, was fully aligned with the decisions of the European Union (EU) to impose restrictive measures against Russia and condemned the illegal declaration of Crimea.

Our position is clear and unwavering, no change of national borders with the use of military force and no unilateral act of secession can ever be accepted, stressed Demetriou.

Finally, the House President reaffirmed the full solidarity of Cyprus and its Parliament in the just struggle of the Ukrainian people and its readiness to contribute, in every possible way, to the collective efforts to provide assistance and support to Ukraine.

Demetriou’s intervention caused the reaction of the Turkish MP Ahmet Yıldız, who called Demetriou’s references to the Cyprus issue inappropriate. In her answer, the House President underlined that no country has the right to invade a sovereign state and that forty thousand Turkish occupying troops are still illegally stationed in Cyprus.

The Greek Cypriot side wishes for the resumption of negotiations as soon as possible to resolve the Cyprus problem in accordance with international law, Demetriou noted. If we all want to work for peace, no country should interpret international law arbitrarily and as dictated by its interests, she concluded.

The President of the Parliament will conclude her visit with bilateral contacts on the sidelines of the Summit and will return to Cyprus on Wednesday.