Cyprus will oppose a proposal which is expected to be made by some member states of the European Union (EU) to impose a ban on visas for Russian citizens, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The Ministry's Permanent Secretary Kornelios Korneliou told the state-run Cyprus News Agency on Saturday that the proposal is expected to be put forward by Baltic countries during the informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers (Gymnich) in Prague on August 30 and 31.
Korneliou added that Greece and Germany have also opposed the proposal, but he refrained from making a prediction as to the fate of the proposal, Xinhua news agency reported.
"There is also the Russian-speaking expatriate community in Cyprus and in other EU states. With such a measure we would prevent the contacts of Russian citizens with their families and friends. We do not believe that there is merit in such a decision," he said.
He added that the idea had been proposed in the past, in the context of the European Council, by a Baltic country, but was faced with "fierce reactions".
He said that free movement of persons applies in the EU and so it would be "contrary to our own principles to prohibit citizens of the Russian Federation from visiting EU member states".