Cyprus' FM criticizes EC for proposed ban on EU registered ships carrying Russian oil-Xinhua

Cyprus' FM criticizes EC for proposed ban on EU registered ships carrying Russian oil

Source: Xinhua| 2022-05-10 22:27:13|Editor: huaxia

NICOSIA, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Tuesday criticized the European Commission (EC) for its proposal that tankers registered in EU countries be banned from carrying Russian oil.

"It is inconceivable that sanctions imposed on Russia by the EC would rather punish member states than Moscow," Kasoulides told state run Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation radio in an interview.

He added that the EC, in formulating its sixth sanction package against Russia, ought to know the special characteristics of the economy of each member.

However, Kasoulides said that Cyprus had no intention to veto the EC's package of sanctions, implying that it would rather prefer either an exception for the Cypriot registered ships or some kind of compensating arrangements.

The issue is also of concern to Greece and Malta, which along with Cyprus, have raised objections during discussions on the sixth sanctions package in Brussels.

Kasoulides implied that the three countries are coordinating on the issue.

"The Cypriot economy has some special features which are not to be found in the economies of other EU member states, as it is dependent on tourism, services and shipping," Kasoulides said.

He added that if these three sectors are hit as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia, a big problem would arise and Cyprus has to act to protect them.

He also said that there is an ongoing tough negotiation with the EC, with the aim of finding through mutual understanding a solution to the issues relating to Cyprus.

Such a measure would pose a hurdle to Russian oil reaching countries outside the EU, though its effectiveness is hard to judge beforehand, as insurance experts have said that affected countries could use their own national insurance arrangements to sidestep EU measures.

The sixth sanctions package proposed by the EC contains another clause affecting Cyprus, as it concerns a proposed ban on the sale of property to Russians.