US completely lifts decade-old arms embargo on Cyprus

The United States completely lifts an arms embargo on Cyprus, the State Department’s spokesperson, Ned Price, announced on Friday. In a statement, Price said that Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, determined and certified to Congress that the Republic of Cyprus has met the necessary conditions under relevant legislation to allow the approval of exports, re-exports, and transfers of defense articles to the Republic of Cyprus for fiscal year 2023. Compliance with the conditions is assessed on an annual basis, the statement noted.


“As a result of this determination and certification, the Secretary lifted the defense trade restrictions for the Republic of Cyprus for fiscal year 2023. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations will be amended to reflect the new policy, effective October 1, 2022”, he noted.


The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 and the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 require that the policy of denial for exports, re-exports, or transfers of defense articles on the United States Munitions List to the Republic of Cyprus remain in place, unless the President determines and certifies to the appropriate congressional committees, not less than annually, that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is continuing to cooperate with the United States government “in efforts to implement reforms on anti-money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight, and that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has made and is continuing to take the steps necessary to deny Russian military vessels access to ports for refueling and servicing”, the statement concludes, adding that, in accordance with both Acts, the Department reviews compliance with the Acts annually.


The US arms embargo to Cyprus was in place since 1987. In 2020 it was announced that the US would partially lift the embargo, on conditions, with the decision being reviewed annually.


Source: Cyprus News Agency

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