Nicosia remains resilient against European Union pressure to not veto sanctions against Belarus at a time when many member states are less than willing to commit themselves to approve sanctions against Turkey for threatening war and committing territorial violations against Greece and Cyprus.
40 Belarusian officials have pending sanctions against them that has only been avoided thus far by a Cypriot veto as it keeps attention on Turkish aggression at the forefront despite some EU member states attempting to bury the issue.
“It is serious,” said one EU diplomat. “They have basically taken the Belarus sanctions hostage.”
Cyprus was warned by several diplomats during an EU Ambassadors meeting on Wednesday against turning the Belarus issue into “a transactional issue.”
“It’s an extremely difficult issue,” one senior member state diplomat said to Reuters. “It is probably the single most worrying issue for the EU in the coming days.”
An EU source told The Guardian that Cyprus was alone, adding: “Everyone is pissed (off), everyone is annoyed. I’m sure this could have consequences (for Cyprus).”
Despite these threats, Cyprus, one of the smallest member states of the EU, remains resilient against bullying from larger member states and refuses to back down from its veto to apply sanctions against Belarus, a non-EU member state that threatens no EU member states, unlike Turkey.
Anakara, who does not even recognise Nicosia as being the sole and legal authority on Cyprus, has been violating Cypriot maritime space and continental shelf for about a year and a half.
However, the EU has shown complete disinterest in this gross violations and threats of war, choosing rather to prioritise sanctions for alleged electoral fraud during last month’s Belarusian presidential elections.
Longtime Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected on the August 9 vote with over 80%. However, immediately after protests began with claims of electoral fraud.