Stanislav Osadchiy, Russia’s Ambassador to Cyprus, has said, in an interview with a local media outlet, that the Republic of Cyprus and other European countries who have imposed sanctions on his country over its invasion of Ukraine have ‘shot themselves in the foot.’
Osadchiy tells his interviewer that Russian tourists will not show up in Cyprus in the summer and that they will go to Turkey instead.
“If you ask me personally, (economic sanctions) do not worry us. Unfortunately, I think Europeans are shooting themselves in the foot. Where will they find natural gas, oil, wheat, how will Cyprus get Russian tourists? Russian tourists will not come. Where will these tourists go? They’ll go to Turkey, you want that? They’ll spend money there. Summer is coming. You have shut down Cyprus’ airspace? You have shot yourselves in the foot,” Osadchiy says, in fluent Greek, in a clip from the interview posted on Twitter by Yiota Hadjicosta, a journalist with Cyprus’ Politis newspaper.
“#Russian Ambassador to Cyprus openly threatened #Cyprus in an interview with a local media outlet. Unbelievable! #Ukraine #Russia,” Hadjicosta tweeted.
Meanwhile, he also commented on the statements of the Russian Foreign Minister when he spoke about the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" without alluding to it being a pseudo-state. More specifically, when asked to comment on whether there is an intention to recognize the pseudo-state, he said the following: "No. I will immediately reject what you say. What happened is that in the Security Council, Lavrov spoke and said that for years we had been trying to talk to the Zelensky regime in Minsk. This did not happen because all these years the Kiev regime has refused to have contacts with the representatives of Luhansk and Donetsk, he explained. That is, to sit with those who need to decide what needs to be done. He cited Cyprus as an example where the two sides, he said, have been negotiating for more than 40 years. That's what he meant. "This does not mean that the approach to the Cyprus problem has changed," he noted.
The Ambassador also emphasized in the interview that Russia's position is not to occupy Ukrainian territory but to protect Russian citizens in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.
Osadchiy, 71, has been Ambassador to Cyprus since 2013; before that, he was Ambassador to Austria and consul-general in Hamburg, Germany and Istanbul.
Cyprus, along with all 27 EU members, has closed its airspace to Russian planes.
[With information from ekathimerini.com]