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Cyprus Wants Tighter Russian Ties

After driving away Russian investors by confiscating much of their bank accounts, Cyprus wants renewed links with Moscow.

Relations with Russia “were and remain of strategic importance, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said in his address to the business forum on Russia and Cyprus: Lessons from the Crisis and Prospects for Cooperation said in the Russian capital” in Moscow, Financial Mirror reported.

Waving a figurative olive branch, Georgiades said stability has returned to Cyprus after the bank confiscations and austerity measures attached to a 10-billion euro ($13 billion) bailout from international lenders but no one’s getting their seized money back.

He didn’t say how that would entice investors other than to say the bank sector has been reformed although no bankers who created the country’s crisis were punished as Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who reneged on anti-confiscation promises, promised.

Also discussed during the meeting, attended by representatives of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cyprus-Russia Business Association, was the rise of tourism, liberalization of air transport, as well as investment initiatives in agriculture and telecommunications.

Referring to the mention of Cyprus in the Panama Papers list of tax havens, Angelos Gregoriades, Chairman of the Cyprus Investment Funds’ Association (CIFA) said that Cyprus is no longer considered an attractive offshore jurisdiction of tax-free status although often criticized as being a tax haven, including harboring criminal money.

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