Cyprus Parliament has voted on the immediate lifting of sanctions against Russia in a resolution by the House of Representatives, , calling on the Government to transfer the request formally to the European Commission.
While no one expects the EU (and the US) to be swayed by the Cyprus decision to call for the lifting of sanctions against Russia, a butterfly that flaps its wings, may be the catalyst for a larger storm.
Cyprus is the first country whose legislature has officially voted in favor of lifting the sanctions placed on Russia by the EU over the US initiated coup and subsequent crisis in Ukraine.
The draft resolution was submitted by AKEL, and voted on by all parties, except the DISY party who abstained from the vote.
The resolution text (currently being drafted with five position points), urges the Cypriot Government to work with the European Council for the lifting of sanctions using diplomatic dialogue, and the need for peaceful cooperation between Europe and Russia in all relevant economic and political areas.
Cyprus media channel, SigmaLive reports that the resolution,
…calls on the “executive power” to take the proper initiatives and steps to create the ground for the lifting of sanctions against The Russian Federation, concerning the export of Cypriot products to Russia, and adds that specific initiatives need to be taken to remove sanctions that affect Russian nationals and members of the State Duma, which include individuals who have historically supported Cyprus and its government.
The House decided to take initiatives to restore cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation in all areas, and calls on all parties involved in the Ukrainian crisis to continue political and diplomatic efforts for a peaceful resolution, and to fully implement the Minsk Agreement of February 12, 2015.
The Cyprus House of Representatives underlines that sanctions against specific persons, prevents dialogue at a bilateral and multilateral level, notes and appreciates that:
“The support of the Cypriot government’s recent renewal of the sanctions at the European Council does not contribute to the development of relations between the Cyprus Republic and the Russian Federation, which has consistently supported the laws of our people, and supported [Cyprus] in critically historic times, both in the UN Security Council and other international organizations.”