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26 May, 2024
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Cyprus joins UN members calling on Russia to pull out

Nicosia points to western orientation as it steers clear of ‘obstructing collective decisions’ by EU partners


Cyprus joined a majority of UN nations that called for Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine, with Nicosia saying it had no other option due to its European orientation.

The UN General Assembly approved on Thursday a nonbinding resolution that calls for the ending of the war in Ukraine and demanded Russia’s immediate withdrawal from the country.

A total of 141 member states that voted in favor of the resolution included the Republic of Cyprus, while 7 voted against and 32 countries abstained.

'Had we not cast this vote, this would have meant that we would be obstructing a collective decision taken by our EU partners'

Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told state radio on Friday morning that “the decision had to be automatic” as Nicosia had no other alternative.

“We have a particular sensitivity on matters of invasion and occupation,” Kasoulides said, a reference to the ongoing Cyprus Problem. 

But the outgoing minister also linked Nicosia’s vote to the island’s western orientation, which “had been established when we joined the EU, and it was strengthened after the war in Ukraine.”

“Had we not cast this vote, this would have meant that we would be obstructing a collective decision taken by our EU partners,” Kasoulides said.

The resolution, which came on the eve of the first anniversary after Moscow ordered troops into Ukraine on 24 February 2022, emerged after Belarus failed to pass two amendments, one that included neutral terms and another that raised concerns over western supply of weapons to Kiev.

A day earlier the UN Security Council held a session called by Russia to discuss a report by veteran reporter Seymour Hersh, who alleges the United States and Norway were the culprits behind the explosion of the Nord Stream pipelines last September.

A British representative raised questions about the report as well as two of the three guest speakers, Jeffrey Sachs and Ray McGovern, saying the UK had complete faith in an ongoing investigation by western countries into the incident, and further accusing Moscow of trying to divert attention from the anniversary of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo also spoke during the session ahead of Sachs and McGovern.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  United Nations  |  resolution  |  Russia  |  Ukraine  |  war  |  invasion  |  Nord Stream  |  Kasoulides

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