Cyprus wants an exemption from European Union sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine to lease Russian-made helicopters designed to fight fires.
The Foreign Ministry has been in touch with EU officials, said The Cyprus Mail, wanting the Russian helicopters in case it can’t otherwise get aerial firefighting equipment, without explaining why not.
The EU sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine have created problems for the fire service, Kadis said, with Cyprus’ needs more important than holding Russia to account for the invasion.
“Our ministry is doing everything it can to ensure our readiness, especially due to the extraordinary circumstances arising this year with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent restrictions on cooperation with any bodies with links to Russian interests,” he added.
If that doesn’t get approved, he said there’s a backup plan as “within days we begin negotiations with other interested bodies in order to reach an agreement, with the goal of securing two helicopters and two planes as soon as possible, early June if possible”.
Read more on this story at the National Herald