Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the “transformation” in the leaderships of Cyprus and Greece has been noted, despite their historically warm relations of “close friendship”.

Lavrov’s comments came after he was asked to respond to those who believe that Russia is behaving as other imperial powers have done – violating international law, occupying territory and changing borders.

“I don’t know what Greece and Cyprus are suffering more from, we were always very close friends with the Greeks and Cypriots and those transformations – in the leadership of those countries, it’s only natural that we’ve noted this,” he was quoted as saying.

In his comments, published by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) late on Wednesday, the foreign minister further claimed that the US, its various satellites, and Nato countries have long been gathering forces to begin a global hybrid war against Russia.

He referred to Cyprus as being amongst the countries that have either been forced or willingly submitted to the will of the US.

Lavrov also claimed that no one in Europe should now speak of strategic autonomy, claiming that the US has supreme influence over its policies.

He further argued that Russia’s aims are to ensure its safety and security.