Cyprus Moves to Mollify Russia

The Cypriot government is trying to better relations with Russia after a tense year during which nearly half the amount in private accounts over 100,000 euros ($137,000) – including those of many rich Russians – were confiscated to help stave off a collapse of the banks and economy.

Cyprus’ Ambassador in Moscow, Yiorgos Casoulides, said he’s been talking with Russian officials trying to mend fences. Russia earlier this year mulled but then rejected giving Cyprus a bailout loan, forcing the island government to get it from international lenders instead.

Speaking during a seminar earlier this month sponsored by the auditing firm Ernst & Young, Kasoulides said that, “all the horror stories you read in the press for the inclusion of Cyprus in Russia’s blacklist are simply not true.”

According to E&R there is room for improvement for Cyprus, said Kasoulides, adding that, “We are determined not only to survive but also to make Cyprus an even better hub of entrepreneurship and services,” the Famagusta Gazette reported.

Revenue chief Giorgos Poufos, who participated in the seminar, referred to the statements by the Minister of Finance Harris Georgiades, assuring that Cyprus will not impose new taxes, adding that there is no such provision in Cyprus’ deal with the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

Poufos also said that Cyprus has designed and implemented an action plan for improving the assessment of the country from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The seminar was attended by more 100 Russian businessmen and representatives of large groups of companies who exploit the comparative advantages of Cyprus for their investments.