Moscow demands Cyprus apologise for deporting a Russian journalist

Cyprus alexander gasyuk

The Russian journalist arrested yesterday in Nicosia after his residence permit was revoked for security reasons is being deported from Cyprus. Alexander Gasyuk was accompanied by a second person, who was released as he is covered by diplomatic immunity as a member of the Russian embassy.

It is noted that the Russian journalist of the state government newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta often travelled to Athens.

During his arrest, the Russian resisted and claimed that the police beat him. Police are denying any reports of violence.

He was in Cyprus as a correspondent for the Russian pro-government newspaper, but his activities allegedly had nothing to do with journalism, and he was in constant contact with the Russian embassy. Sources of the security authorities in Nicosia noted that there is evidence that the Russian "journalist" posed a threat to the security of Cyprus.

The Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs press representative, Theodoros Gotsis, confirmed that the ministry is taking the appropriate actions for this special nature issue. Gotsis pointed out that "there is an open line of communication with the Russian Federation through the diplomatic channel with the aim of resolving the issue in the best possible way."

He underlined that "the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is able to assure that the matter is being properly managed and given attention by the competent state agencies and that its settlement has already been set in motion based on the appropriate procedures". In this context, he emphasised, "further public comment on allegations that have seen the light of day is not appropriate."

Concluding, the Spokesperson of the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that it is understood that the Republic of Cyprus, as an organized State, takes all the necessary measures to protect its national security and implement the decisions of the competent authorities to protect its interests.

Cyprus alexander gasyuk

Moscow reacted angrily to the deportation of the Russian journalist, saying it is "unacceptable and provocative."

"Declarative protest in relation to the unacceptable and provocative actions of the Authorities" of Cyprus against Gasyuk, accredited in Nicosia, as well as D. Doinikov, an employee of the Russian Embassy in Cyprus, "during the performance of his official duties", announced the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"A day earlier, under the pretext of revoking the Russian journalist's residence permit under the established charge of 'threat to national security', the Cypriot secret services attempted to arrest him using brute force for his subsequent deportation. As a result, the representative of our diplomatic mission who was at the scene of the incident was injured, while A. Gasyuk himself was thrown into a cell with a serious hand injury," the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its announcement, noting that it considers the allegations "absolutely fabricated about inappropriate activity of the correspondent of 'Rossiskaya Gazieta' and violation of his status of stay in Cyprus, much more so in light of the demonstrably provocative and brutal behaviour of the Cypriot security services."

According to the announcement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior of the Republic of Cyprus did not even bother to respond to the timely sent relevant requests of our Embassy in Nicosia", on the contrary, "initially methods of psychological pressure were used, including on the family of the journalist. It all ended with physical violence."

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains that it has reasons "to believe that Western secret services were involved in the organisation of this provocation " and "demanded from the Cypriot government the immediate release of the Russian correspondent, detailed explanations for the unprecedented incident and an official apology."

With its announcement, the newspaper "Rossiskaya Gazieta" states that the Russian correspondent has left Cyprus and is flying to Russia, but also that after "ignoring" the relevant requests of the Russian embassy in Nicosia, "we were waiting for this moment, we did not comments, so as not to hinder the return process of our correspondent".

In fact, he thanks the Russian diplomats for their timely support and includes the incident "in the common approach of the EU countries to increase the pressure on the Russian mass media and to violate the legal rights of our journalists abroad."

Earlier, the journalist himself, in an extensive interview with the Russian state agency "RIA-Novosti", described the incident as "unprecedented in the 63 years of Cyprus-Russia relations" and claimed that he did not resist his arrest, showed his journalistic identity while recently his competent interlocutors had assured him that there is no problem with his journalistic accreditation, as far as the case of residence permit he would have to wait for the response of the Aliens and Immigration Service, "which never arrived."

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