President Nikos Christodoulides will meet with Chinese ambassador Liu Yantao on Monday to discuss the ongoing and escalating spat between Chinese-led construction firm CPP-Metron Consortium Ltd (CMC) and Natural Gas Infrastructure Company (Etyfa) over the under-construction liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Vasiliko.

“While there has been progress on some fronts, some areas are not progressing as we would like them to progress,” he said on Saturday.

He said the overarching aim is to reduce the price of electricity and that was closely linked to the progress at Vasiliko and the work undertaken by CMC company with specific commitments.

“We are here to deal with any problems. I am not going to enter into a public dialogue with the company and I have to say I am surprised the company felt the need to make a public intervention,” he said.

CMC made a series of outspoken statements on Friday and Saturday on the increasingly fractious dispute with Etyfa.

“The state will not be blackmailed, the state is faithful to its obligations, and we always respond, and we are here in this matter as well to deal with it,” Christodoulides said.

He went on to say that regarding the Vasiliko project, “we have a plan which needs to be implemented.”

“With absolute good faith and will, we will manage the problems which have come up and I hope that with good will and initiative on the other side, solutions will be found,” he added.

Asked whether the government has a “plan B”, he said, “of course there is a ‘plan B’. We are obliged to think about a ‘plan B’, but I do not want it to get to that point.”

He said the only topic of conversation with the Chinese ambassador on Monday will be Vasiliko.