Russia has summoned Cyprus’s ambassador to Moscow after what it called “unacceptable and provocative actions” against a Russian journalist and an employee of the Russian embassy in Nicosia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.Late on Friday, it was reported that the journalist, named as Alexander Gasyuk, had been deported from Cyprus.
The ministry said security personnel in Cyprus violently detained and injured a journalist working for the state-run Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper whom they said posed a threat to national security.
“We consider the references to the inappropriate activities of the Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent and the violation of the administrative regime of his stay in Cyprus as absolutely far-fetched,” the ministry said.
Russia demands the immediate release of the journalist, an explanation of the incident, and an official apology from the Cypriot authorities, the ministry added.
It said “Western intelligence services” were behind the journalist’s arrest and also accused Cypriot authorities of ignoring requests by the Russian embassy in Nicosia for information and of using “psychological pressure” on Gasyuk and his family.
Cyprus was taking “all appropriate measures to protect national security,” a spokesperson for the foreign ministry there told the semi-official Cyprus News Agency.
The matter was being dealt with and there was “an open line of communication with the Russian Federation to resolve this issue in the best possible manner,” they added. [Reuters, AP,