NICOSIA – After ripping off Russian investors and depositors, Cyprus wants them back as well as stronger ties with their government.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who three years ago ordered the confiscation of 47.5 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($113,500) – many of them Russians – said now that the economy is recovering he wants a better relationship with Russia.
Cyprus will remain a reliable partner to Russia, he told the 111th Cyprus-Russian Festival in Limassol, the Cyprus Mail reported.
“Our journey along the road to recovery has been faster than anyone could predict three years ago,” he said, referring to when he asked international lenders for a 10-billion euro ($11.35 billion) bailout and imposed austerity and bank deposit seizures in return.
Anastasiades asked that the Russian Ambassador convey his “deep feelings of appreciation to President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev” and his best wishes for “steady progress and prosperity to the friendly people of Russia”.
“My own attendance here is a tangible proof that I and the government – and also the previous governments – greatly value the partnership that has been developed throughout the years between Cyprus and the Russian Federation,” the paper reported.
“A partnership that we are committed to continue upgrading and enriching, so as to foster even stronger links between our Governments and peoples,” Anastasiades said.
He said that during his visit to Russia last year the partnership had been advanced through the signing of a number of bilateral agreements in the fields of education, on economic co-operation, on research and technology and on justice.
Anastasiades also expressed his gratitude for the “vote of confidence, trust and faith which the Russian people, in particular the vibrant Russian community residing in Cyprus, as well as the Russian business community, have been displaying to Cyprus and its economic and banking system, particularly during the past three years”.
“To this end, I can assure you that Cyprus will remain a reliable partner to all of you, especially since we are now emerging stronger than ever from an unprecedented crisis.”