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EU sanctions and shell-companies’ shutdown raise concerns, Russian Ambassador says

Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy mentioned the shutdown of shell-companies, as well as EU sanctions among the developments raising concerns in Russian business circles, both in Cyprus and in Russian.

Addressing on Friday the Russia-Cyprus Business and Investment Forum, in Limassol, Osadchiy said that “the introduction of Europe`s anti-Russian package of sanctions in 2018 and the following campaign of Cyprus’ Central Bank on revealing and closing so-called shell companies led to the closure of tens of thousands of Russian clients’ accounts in Cyprus banks.”

“Some major Russian companies already left from Cyprus’ jurisdiction or think of doing it” he went on, noting that these developments are not to the benefit of the Cypriot or the Russian economy.

He expressed hope, these “handicaps in our relations” are temporary and that the two sides will be able to overcome them soon.

The Ambassador also said that the Forum allows both sides to exchange views on Russian – Cypriot bilateral economic cooperation. For the last years the mutual beneficial cooperation between our countries has been greatly strengthening in a wide spectrum of areas, he went on.

He referred to the important impetus to bilateral relations given after the meeting between President Putin and President Anastasiades, in February 2015 and October 2017. Cyprus and Russia are currently united by over 50 agreements on state and ministerial levels, creating a solid base for interaction in almost every important field, he said.

The Ambassador noted that one of the pillars of the Cyprus-Russian relations continues to be the economic cooperation, both in trade of goods and services. Russian and Cypriot investments remain the leading investments to the economy of each other according to the 2018 statistics, he said. He explained that direct investments from Cyprus to Russia amount to 196 billion dollars, while Russian direct investment to Cyprus is worth 176 billion dollars.

The Ambassador also said that Russians comprise one quarter of foreign tourists in Cyprus and were among the first to take advantage of the investment for citizenship program of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Many Russian companies are either represented or have business industry on the island. Tens of thousands of our citizens live constantly in Cyprus with the Russian language being the third popular after Greek and English. Taking into account our traditional long standing cultural and historic ties, mutual trust and support, we are confident that despite of these difficulties, there are indeed bright prospects for further development of economic partnership between Russia and Cyprus” Osdachiy noted.

He expressed finally hope that this kind of Forums provide business representatives an excellent opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation and come up with new ideas to further develop Cyprus-Russian economic and commercial ties.

CNA

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