Cypriot president is aksed to explain his flight to Paris

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The Cypriot opposition has demanded that President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis explain his trip to Paris in a plane belonging to his Russian billionaire friend.

The head of state visited the French capital last week, where he held talks with François Hollande and the company Total about investments and France's participation in the development of Cyprus's exclusive economic zone, RIA Novosti reported.

However, the government reported that, due to the French air traffic controllers strike, N.Anastasiadis had asked for help from his friend, who "provided a small private plane to fly the President of the Republic and his entourage to France, without any payment from the state budget."

These arguments have not impressed the opposition. The communist AKEL party has demanded an explanation from the president as to whether his actions met ethical standards for government officials.

N.Anastasiadisu had to respond to this criticism. "What bothers some people, what do they want to see - the moon or a thumb? The moon - is an important meeting with my French colleague. The thumb - a flight of the President's delegation by a usual route, which would otherwise cost the state treasury €6 thousand," the president said.

According to Greek media, the friend of the President was a Russian businessman named Lebedev. At the same time, conflicting information appears about which Lebedev is meant - Leonid or Alexander. According to radio Sigma, it was the Senator Leonid Lebedev, owner of "Synthesis", a company which participated in the tender for the privatization of the Greek gas company DEPA and the gas transmission company DESFA. It is noted that he is a friend of the president and a former client of his law firm.

The agency "Prime" had contacted the press service of Alexander Lebedev, who said that the businesman has nothing to do with this story.