News BlogNeighborhood enlargementEurope Türkiye

The Turkish threat...

Demetris Christofias - Cypriot President - and Martin Schulz - President of the European Parliament (credit: European Parliament)

(BRUSSELS2 to Strasbourg) Cypriot President Demetris Christofias was clear when speaking to the press at the European Parliament on Wednesday (4 July). Cyprus has to face a “threatening neighbour, Turkey”. One word that has come back to Cyprus is " a half-occupied country – 37% of our territory is occupied. It’s an anachronism in the XNUMXst century. Cyprus must spend millions on its defense to face Turkey's policies. While we want to demilitarize Cyprus ».

This usual visit at the start of a presidency (each rotating presidency comes to the European Parliament to explain its priorities) also had an objective, just as ritual for the country this time, to draw attention to the Turkish occupation of the north of the Island and obtain support. This one was not missed.

“It is not the EU which joins Turkey, it is the opposite”

Martin Schulz (PES, Germany), President of the European Parliament, gave him strong support. " The European Union has rules and Turkey must respect them. One of the rules of the European Union is the rotating presidency. It is a right and a duty for Cyprus to hold the presidency. I said this recently during a visit to Abdullah Gül (the Turkish president) and Turkish leaders during my recent visit to Istanbul. It is not the European Union which will join Turkey, it is the opposite, Turkey must respect the rules of the European Union. "" I cannot accept that we accept a German and not a Cypriot. » he added. At the end of the ritual of questions and answers, the President took the floor again (which is rather unusual) to warmly thank Europe and the European Parliament " support for the threat posed by Turkey ».

Cyprus confirms its request for aid from Russia

The Cypriot president also explained his position on the island's request for financial aid from Russia. A request that is still relevant today. The reasons for this request are very simple and prosaic for Demetris Christofias. Quite simply ! “ The conditions offered by Russia are better than the European mechanism. And (Russia) does not set any conditions, it does not ask us for anything. Interest rates are low. » It is not his quality as a communist which pushes him towards Russia, he wanted to warn lay people. “ Drop the story that communists are ruling Cyprus today. he explained to reporters. " Cyprus as a country in the Mediterranean, inhabited by Orthodox Christians, has traditional and cultural ties with the Russian Federation that go back a long way. There is a whole story behind it. (And by the way) Russia is a partner of the European Union, it is not an enemy. » Note that this aid will complement that requested from the European Union (and not replace it) specified a Cypriot diplomat to B2. NB: it is also a good means of pressure and negotiation…

NB: I am in Cyprus for a few days. And so we will have some details or information on this new presidency that is coming.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).