NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The vice president of a new political party in Cyprus says Russian Cypriots who inspired the creation of the movement want to mold the country into a progressive European nation.

Belarusian Ivan Mikhnevich, who holds Cypriot citizenship, said the "I the Citizen" party seeks to keep the island's politics on a centrist trajectory after its founders saw political discourse drifting toward the "ultra-right and left."

Mikhnevich, who is a co-founder of the international game developer Wargaming, said "I the Citizen" is primarily a Cypriot party not intent on protecting the interests of Russians living in Cyprus.

He said the party isn't considering fielding a candidate in Cyprus' presidential election in January, but setting its sights on the 2021 parliamentary elections.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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