10:02 GMT29 November 2020
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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said the European Council (EC) did not provide several countries with enough time to provide their feedback about sanctions against Russia. Christodoulides said the deadline had already been expired when Cyrpus was informed.

    MOSCOW, January 28 (Sputnik) – The Cyprus government is concerned over the fact that the European Council (EC) did not provide several countries with enough time to give their feedback regarding the new statement on anti-Russian sanctions, and issued it without some EU members’ consent, Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said Wednesday.

    “The deadline had [already] expired when we were informed,” Christodoulides told the Cyprus Mail.

    On Tuesday, the EC issued a statement, where it blamed Russia for backing a rocket attack on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol in January, which killed 30 people. Meanwhile, eastern Ukrainian independence supporters argue that Kiev forces were responsible for launching the attack.

    The EC's statement also called for additional sanctions against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis.

    Although the statement said all 28 EU leaders had agreed on the content, the draft was sent only to the director of President Nicos Anastasiades’ diplomatic office, but he was on a flight to Saudi Arabia at the time and did not have a chance to respond, according to Cyprus Mail.

    Greece has also expressed its disapproval of the EC’s actions, stating that the “statement was released without the prescribed procedure to obtain consent by the member states and particularly without ensuring the consent of Greece,” the newspaper said.

    The West, including a number of EU countries, has accused Moscow of participating in the military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine and imposed several rounds of economic sanctions targeting Russia's banking, energy and defense industries.

    Moscow has repeatedly said that it is not involved in the Ukrainian internal conflict, adding that using sanctions as an instrument of foreign policy is ineffective.

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