Washington is pushing Cyprus to stop allowing Russian ships to moor in its ports

Russian Warships in Limassol

The Americans want Russian ships in the ports of the Republic of Cyprus to stop mooring there. This position was expressed by the US Deputy Secretary of State assessing his recent trip to Cyprus.

A new provocative statement was made by US diplomacy through the Undersecretary of State for Military Affairs, Clark Cooper.

The American official in the context of yesterday’s evaluation of his trip to Cyprus on October 18 and 19 stressed, among other things:

“I confirmed separately that Cyprus has not yet taken the necessary steps to prevent ships of the Russian fleet from entering its ports. These and other steps are definitely necessary … We want the Republic of Cyprus to move in this direction,” he said.

The pressure of the Americans in Cyprus regarding this issue is not a new phenomenon.

It all started in mid-2019 when the US passed the East Med Act bill which, among other things, directly calls on Cyprus to close its ports to Russian ships.

“No country can force Cyprus to stop supplying its port facilities to Russian or other ships,” said then-Cypriot Defense Minister Savvas Angelidis, noting that Nicosia would continue its efforts to further deepen relations with the US, but the role of the Republic of Cyprus as a pillar of stability in the region must be respected.

In the summer of 2020, however, Savvas Angelidis was replaced by Charalambos Petridis, who in turn stated that there was no discussion of severing ties with Russia as he announced the participation of Cyprus in a US military training program.

Diplomatic sources, aware of the background, said to Sputnik that the Republic of Cyprus will not change the direction of its foreign policy, nor will it submit to American calls.

Russian warship in Cyprus.
Russian warship in Cyprus.

At the same time, Pampos Chrysostomou, Director of Research and International Relations at the Cyprus University of Technology, speaking to Sputnik Hellas, points out that:

“The Republic of Cyprus does not have the luxury at this critical moment to create enemies. Russia is a valuable partner of Cyprus, especially in the Cyprus issue, with clear positions, both for Famagusta and for the bi-zonal bi-communal federation based on UN resolutions,” he said.

“It must be made clear that Cyprus itself determines its foreign policy on the basis of its own national interest and not on the basis of the interests of third parties,” the professor continued.

“The government of Cyprus must continue to have the same strong resistance to the issue of stopping the mooring of Russian ships, because an opposite stance that would cut off the Russian exit would cause it to lose Russia’s support. Especially during the period when an attempt is being made to resume talks on the Cyprus issue,” Chrysostomou concluded.

Lambros Zacharis is a correspondent for Sputnik Hellas.