Nicosia:No Russian arms held by Cyprus’ National Guard will be sent to Ukraine, government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis has said on Friday.
The statement was made during the visit here of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov who met with his Cypriot counterpart Michalis Georgallas.
Cyprus’ defense ministry said the two ministers held discussions regarding development and security situation in Ukraine, Cyprus and the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.
Reznikov had told CyBC state television ahead of the meeting that Ukraine needed anti-aircraft systems and additional offensive arms.
Cyprus’ National Guard is armed with mostly Russian-made weapons, such as attack helicopters, tanks and armored trucks.
Letymbiotis said Cyprus cannot afford to deprive its National Guard of any of its arms as it faces a 40,000-strong Turkish army, which controls the northern one third of the island since 1974.
“The Republic of Cyprus has made it clear that it cannot contribute militarily (to Ukraine) as it cannot remain without arms,” he said.