"Cyprus and Greece are certainly an integral vital part of a core group of EU partners that have not stopped questioning whether sanctions are an effective policy tool and have concertedly kept a pragmatic and constructive voice of reason in the Council [European Council]," Nikos Christodoulides said.
The European Union has implemented several rounds of sanctions against Moscow over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Russia has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian internal conflict, and urged a peaceful dialogue between the warring sides.
"The consistent rational and pragmatic approach of Cyprus and our efforts to limit the scope of potential restrictive measures as well as to openly question their value has been appreciated by the Russian side," Christodoulides said.
"Through the exercise of repeatedly voicing our realistic positions we have acted as sincere friend of the Russian Federation, as well as a credible and staunch supporter of the strategic value of EU- Russia relations," he added.
Earlier this month, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said that anti-Russia sanctions have had a negative impact on the Greek economy, adding that Athens is ready to act as a mediator in normalizing Russia-EU relations.