Cyprus against horizontal ban for visas to Russians at Gymnich, FM raises Turkey’s non alignment with sanctions

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that Cyprus was against a horizontal ban on EU visas for Russian citizens, pointing out that relations between peoples should be maintained, while also drawing attention to the issue of Turkey’s non alignment with EU sanctions, during Wednesday’s informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers (Gymnich) which took place in Prague, under the auspices of the Czech Presidency of the EU.

According to a press release by the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, during his intervention Kasoulides pointed out that the measures that will be taken need to “turn against the Putin regime, without harming or having negative effects for the Russian people.”

Kasoulides also said that Cyprus was sceptical regarding the possibility of a full and horizontal ban on visas for all Russian citizens and pointed out that there is a need for civil society to continue being in contact.

During the discussion, Kasoulides also stressed that the effectiveness of sanctions “depends on the consistency of their application” and added that “the EU should give due attention to Turkey’s efforts to sidestep sanctions through agreements with Russia”.

Turkey’s attempt to exempt banks and companies from the restrictive measures framework of the EU gives Russia the capability of continuing to get materials that strengthen its defence industry among other industries, Kasoulides said according to the Foreign Ministry’s press release.

Kasoulides called on the EU to be vigilant and monitor the implementation of the Sochi agreements, as well as Turkish actions and agreements between Turkey and Russia.

The Foreign Minister also met with his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu in the margins of the meeting.

During a discussion on EU – Africa relations, Kasoulides said that Cyprus fully supports cooperation with African states towards facing security challenges, and underlined the importance of EU adhering to its principle that African problems should be met with African solutions, through the strengthening of African state and economic institutions and without imposing external solutions.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister also said that there is a need for solutions for Africa’s food crisis, and on another issue mentioned the need for migrant return agreements with African states.

Source: Cyprus News Agency