Cyprus complains over EU sanctions statement against Russia

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Cyprus has voiced its dissent at an EU statement on Ukraine threatening possible new sanctions against Russia, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Wednesday.

Cyprus is the second EU country after Greece to complain about the statement, though Christodoulides said that other countries were also objecting to it.

He said the issue will be discussed by permanent representatives in Brussels later on Wednesday and will come up for discussion at an extraordinary General Affairs council on Thursday.

"Because of objections raised by many member countries, the statement is not expected to be adopted by the foreign ministers tomorrow," Christodoulides said.

The statement asked foreign ministers to consider imposing further sanctions on Moscow.

New Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday that the statement condemning the killing of civilians in "indiscriminate shelling" in Mariupol and raising the prospect of new sanctions against Russia did not have the consent of Greece.

He also complained about the handling of the issue saying that Greece had not been consulted.

"Cyprus has also made its dissent known and expressed dissatisfaction about both the procedure followed and the content of the statement issued by European Council President Donald Tusk," said Christodoulides.

He said that the statement was made available to only one official from each member-country instead of three which is the normal practice and a notice of only three hours was given for making comments. Endit

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