Russia summons Cyprus’ envoy over journalist detention

(Reuters) -Russia summoned Cyprus’s ambassador on Friday 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.

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.

In Cyprus, local media outlets said the journalist’s residency permit had been revoked and he would be deported, without giving any more information on the incident.

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.

Cyprus, a European Union member state, has close cultural and economic links with Russia but these have substantially cooled since the war in Ukraine.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; additional reporting by Michele Kambas in Nicosia; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Andrew Heavens)