TRAVEL GAZETTE – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday praised Cyprus for its resolution to lift the European Union’s sanctions on Moscow, saying that the move indicates a growing understanding among EU members of the negative impact brought by the restrictive measures.
“Provisions of the resolution are advisory in nature, but such an outcome of the vote reflects the desire of the overwhelming majority of Cypriot people to restore the mutually beneficial trade and economic ties with Russia,” the ministry said in an online statement.
Earlier in the day, Cyprus’ parliament passed a resolution on lifting the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia, thus making the country the first EU member that has requested the sanctions be removed.
The anti-Russia sanctions were first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in the Ukraine crisis in 2014, and later extended due to the lack of implementation of the Minsk agreements aimed to facilitate a peaceful settlement of the crisis, which Russia has repeatedly denied.
Earlier this month, the EU announced the prolongation of the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until Jan. 31, 2017, which Russia blasted as a continuation of Brussels’ “short-sighted” policy.
In response, Russia imposed a year-long embargo on food imports from Western countries in August 2014, and extended the anti-sanction measures for one more year in June 2015.
In late June, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to extend embargo on food imports from the EU and other countries until the end of 2017.