Foreign Minister: The service sector can not be further hit by sanctions

The services sector in Cyprus can not be further hit by European sanctions against Russia, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Sunday, adding that sanctions could not have a more negative effect on member states than on the country itself. Russia.

Mr. Kasoulidis spoke on the sidelines of the Europe Day celebrations that took place on Sunday morning in Eleftherias Square, in the center of Nicosia.

Asked about the agenda of the online meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States on Monday, May 9, the Foreign Minister said that the issues identified were the contribution to the security and stability of the region, economic issues, climate and natural disasters, with the intervention of Cyprus focusing on the blue economy.

Mr. Kasoulidis added that the web meeting will be followed by a live meeting between the parties involved until the end of the year. “I believe that we will reach some decisions to launch actions, which will be monitored by experts and the deliverables of which will be the subject of the next meeting,” he added.

Asked about the content of Cyprus’ intervention before its European partners, next Monday, at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, the Minister said that “I will attach importance to what has been proven, namely the unity of the European Union, with the which we acted on immediately as a reaction to the Russian invasion and we participate in and contribute to this unity. “

“As the packages of restrictive measures increase, so does the aggregate effect, which the European Commission must take into account when coming up with proposals, because it must know what the specifics of each Member State are. The sanctions are coming in to be our protest, to stop Russia’s war machine from intervening in Ukraine. “These sanctions cannot have a more negative effect on member states than on Russia itself.”

Asked to comment on the current insecurity in the commercial world of Cyprus as the sixth package of sanctions is aimed specifically at the services – and with the services of Cyprus being directly linked to Russian funds – Mr. Kasoulidis said that “huge efforts have been made to protect our services sector from disproportionate decisions concerning us, because other Member States have other problems. For example, we do not have the problem of importing gas or oil from Russia, while others are much more dependent. “But we have three sectors, tourism, which has been hit, shipping and services, these can not be hit further.”

Finally, when asked whether Cyprus would be in favor of lifting the necessary unanimity for decisions in the European Council, the Foreign Minister said that small states could not accept such a proposal. “There are other very serious issues where many Member States have particular interests in other areas, not just foreign policy. “Cyprus is in favor of unanimity in the field of foreign policy,” he concluded.

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