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Cyprus president declares ‘zero tolerance’ coverage on evasion of Russia sanctions

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The president of Cyprus has pledged a “zero tolerance” coverage towards any Cypriot citizen or firm serving to to evade worldwide sanctions imposed on Russia following final 12 months’s invasion of Ukraine

Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides talks to the media on the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Christodoulides gave an account of his first 100 days in workplace throughout a information convention. (AP Picture/Petros Karadjias)

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — The president of Cyprus on Tuesday affirmed a “zero tolerance” coverage towards any Cypriot citizen or firm serving to to evade worldwide sanctions imposed on Russia following final 12 months’s invasion of Ukraine.

President Nikos Christodoulides underscored his administration’s mission to safeguard Cyprus’ identify as a “credible enterprise and monetary heart” after the U.S. and the U.Okay. lately included a handful of Cypriot nationals and Cyprus-registered firms on an inventory of “enablers” serving to Russian oligarchs skirt sanctions.

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Christodoulides informed a information convention on his administration’s first 100 days in workplace that the problem affords Cyprus a possibility to rebrand itself as a monetary node connecting “East and West, the European market with the Center East, Asia and Africa.”

“The credibility of our nation overseas is extraordinarily necessary in order that we will entice high quality investments that may deliver income to our nation, create new, high quality jobs and way more,” Christodoulides mentioned.

The U.S. and the U.Okay. unveiled on April 12 and once more on Could 19 an inventory together with Cypriot attorneys, businessmen and firms they mentioned had been a part of a “sanctions evasion community” supporting Russian billionaires Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich in 20 nations.

The lists despatched the Cypriot authorities scrambling to shore up a tattered status, providing assurances that the nation was now firmly on the straight and slender.

Christodoulides mentioned Cyprus “is on the fitting facet of historical past” in its full help of worldwide sanctions in opposition to Russia since Cyprus has itself suffered related penalties as Ukraine following a 1974 Turkish invasion that cut up the island nation alongside ethnic strains.

The invasion was triggered by a coup aiming at union with Greece. Solely Turkey acknowledges a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence within the island’s northern third.

However the Cypriot president appeared to rule out any transfer to cede its getting old inventory of Soviet-era T-80 predominant battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and anti-aircraft missile batteries to Ukraine in change for newer Western army gear.

Christodoulides mentioned his administration wouldn’t “take any motion that would go away the Cyprus Republic with out armed forces” whereas Turkey continues to keep up greater than 35,000 troops within the north.

He mentioned the federal government is specializing in buttressing the nation’s naval and air property, with out providing any particulars.

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