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Cyprus seeks permission from Brussels to supply helicopters from Russia

Written by The Frontier Post

NICOSIA (TASS): The authorities of the Republic of Cyprus are seeking permission from Brussels to purchase, bypassing EU anti-Russian sanctions, helicopters from the Russian Federation capable of ext-inguishing forest fires. This was announced on Monday by Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Costas Cadiz.
According to him, the situation in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed against the Russian Federation not only affected the supply chains of companies associated with Russia, but also made it difficult for all European countries to access their own fire extinguishing systems. “The Minister of Foreign Affairs [Ioannis Kasoulides] has already been informed of this and steps are being taken in Brussels to allow the Republic of Cyprus to lease Russian helicopters for firefighting needs this year.” Cadiz said.
He said that last week he met with a representative of a company that leases helicopters manufactured by JSC Kamov. “It seems possible, provided that we are given the green light, that we will receive these helicopters very soon, but it depends on what happens with our negotiations with other companies,” the head of the ministry added.
He added that the Cyprus Ministry of Agriculture is doing everything possible to ensure that the country is ready to extinguish forest fires during the hot season in emergency conditions caused by “restrictions on cooperation with any authorities related to Russian interests.” Acc-ording to Cadiz, this circu-mstance negatively affected the process of obtaining additional air equipment for Cyprus, adding that two tenders, one for the lease of helicopters and the other for aircraft, were unsuccessful. Cadiz recalled that the Department of Forestry under his ministry already has two firefighting aircraft at its disposal, two more from Spain are expected to arrive on May 13, plus two helicopters from the Cypriot National Guard and the police, which can also be used to fight the fire element.
At the same time, Cadiz said that his ministry, following an alternative plan, will begin negotiations with other interested parties within a few days in order to ensure the delivery of two helicopters and two aircraft that are needed as soon as possible (preferably by the end of May or early June). for fire fighting. However, as the minister noted, today all EU countries face similar problems. “I discussed this with my fellow ministers who deal with these issues, and in all European countries the same problems are being solved,” Cadiz said.
The head of the Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture noted that if the negotiations of his ministry with other countries do not bring results, the Cypriot Foreign Ministry will have to decide whether to obtain the right to work with the supplier of Russian helicopters manufactured by Kamov JSC. “You understand that this is a matter of national security,” said Costas Cadiz.

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