Nicos Anastasiades described on Thursday the amendments made to the bipartisan legislation of Robert Menendez and Senator Rubio on an updated United States strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean as “unfortunate.”
The bill, which would allow the U.S. to fully support the trilateral partnership of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus through energy and defense cooperation initiatives—including by lifting the prohibition on arms transfers to the Republic of Cyprus, received the green light by the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and will be forwarded to the Full Senate.
However, the approved version contained three amendments of which the first asks the President of the United States to certify to the appropriate congressional committees not less than annually that “(A) the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is continuing to cooperate with the United States Government in efforts to implement reforms on anti-money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight; and (B) the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has made and is continuing to take the steps necessary to deny Russian military vessels access to ports for refueling and servicing.”
Invited to comment on the amendment, Anastasiades praised Menendez and Rubio for authoring the bill, as submitted to the Committee, expressing however regret over the amendments made to the bill “which to a great extent affect the independence and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.”
The President explained that so far the provision of services to any country was made on humanitarian grounds, noting “and I do not believe that conditions can be set especially with a country, and I am referring to the United States, with which we seek to further enhance our relations.”
“I have the impression that the amendment was unfortunate,” Anastasiades concluded.