105 million Russian deposits arrested in Cyprus and promise to speed up
According to the Minister of Finance of Cyprus Konstantinos Petridis, the country is actively involved in anti-Russian sanctions. To support colleagues in political interests, Russian deposits were arrested. The total amount is estimated at 105 million euros.
“Petridis told us that the passports of the oligarchs under sanctions are in the process of being seized. He also assured that Cyprus confiscated Russian deposits in the amount of 105 million euros, ”CBS News reported.
According to the source, the announced amount should be regarded only as a start. Under the sanctions is a much larger figure. Procedures have already started to seize the remaining bins. Under the “increased attention” in Cyprus, Russian companies that fell under the sanctions of the European Union and the United States.
In April 2022, the government ordered the annulment of Cypriot citizenship documents for four Russians whose names are on the sanctions list. After four more citizens of the Russian Federation and members of their families were deprived of Cypriot passports.
As of August, the decision of the local council of ministers to revoke the passports of seven more foreign citizens was reported. Last October, the media revealed the plans of the Cypriot authorities to deprive ten more people of their citizenship. The government attributed the decision to the results of an investigation conducted by a department of the Ministry of the Interior. For a complete understanding: passports were issued in exchange for non-refundable investments. How the reverse was legalized is not specified.
The campaign to raise capital and grant citizenship began to emerge as early as 2007. Cyprus has become a cradle for Russian entrepreneurs, but, as it turned out, not the most reliable.
In 2013, the country officially launched the CIP – the Cyprus Investment Program, which involves the exchange of citizenship for investment. The amount of contributions for participation was repelled from 2.5 million dollars. In this way, the country has attracted 8 billion euros of additional investment. In total, about 4,000 so-called “golden passports” have been issued since 2013.
On November 1, 2020, the loyalty of the Cypriot authorities was exhausted. Satisfied with foreign capital, the government reversed previous decisions. However, experts believe that the reason for the sharp change in course was the screening of the film-investigation on the Al Jazeera channel. In the materials, the Cypriot authorities were convicted of collaborating with foreign criminals and complicity in the form of issuing passports. Against the backdrop of the scandal, the simplified scheme was promptly crossed out.
It should be noted that the closest partners – the United States and EU members – have repeatedly criticized Cyprus because of the sale of citizenship. For example, in a 2018 US government report, the country is called one of those that launder capital from Russian investments without a history of verification.