The two officials discussed the energy crisis in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Anastasiades also condemned a decision by Turkey to not join in Europe’s sanctions against Russia.
Anastasiades spoke about energy inter-connection projects in the eastern Mediterranean, between north Africa and Europe, and about the EastMed gas pipeline which should connect Cyprus with Europe via Greece.
That island state has in recent years discovered significant offshore gas deposits, and the proposed project is still being analysed to test its economic feasibility, said Anastasiades.
It can help Europe’s energy diversification, he told a news conference.
Addressing the news conference in Nicosia, Plenković underlined that the LNG terminal on Krk Island would have a significant role in achieving Europe’s energy security. Thought is being given currently to increasing its capacity and not just for Croatia but for the needs of countries in Central Europe, he said.
Croatia can become an energy hub in the north Adriatic for gas and oil, said Plenković.
He underscored that Europe has to find a new, long-term sustainable alternative to Russia’s energy products at an affordable price.
The two officials emphasised that this was the first visit by a Croatian prime minister to Cyprus and that it should mark a turning point in cooperation between the two countries so that their political agreement on European topics can expand to economic ones.
The two countries are expected to finalise in November an agreement on avoiding double taxation and they have also signed a memorandum on strengthening economic cooperation, which should be accompanied by a memorandum on digital transformation and sea traffic.
We are two Mediterranean countries not far from each other, we share the Mediterranean and I believe there is a lot of room for expanding cooperation, Plenković said, underlining the petrochemical and electrical energy industries, IT sector, pharmaceutical industry and financial and digital cooperation.
Cyprus and Croatia have been connected by air for the past two years, which has resulted in an increased number of tourists.
Croatia’s political objectives
Plenković said that he and “his good friend” Anastasiades also discussed Croatia’s ambitions for deeper integration in the EU that should occur this year – accession to the passport-free Schengen area, on which a final formal decision is expected in June or July, and accession to the euro area, on which a decision is expected in July.
We will be ready for euro changeover on 1 January, said Plenković.
The two officials also discussed the situation in Southeast Europe, with emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the need to ensure the political rights of Croats in that country, with Zagreb having full support from Nicosia in that regard.
Plenković’s two-day visit to Cyprus, during which he laid a wreath at the monument to Makarios III, Archbishop of Cyprus who was the country’s first president and is considered to be the father of the nation, ended with a meeting with the country’s parliament speaker.
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