Daily Telegraph: “As global regulators seek to stem the flow of Russian wealth, Greek Cypriot bankers may face some tough questions”
Southern Cyprus, called “Moscow in the Mediterranean”, has become a center of attraction for Russia and beyond due to the generous advantages it offers for the wealthy, was noted.
The article, published in the Daily Telegraph, reported that the Island now means different classes of service for Russians, due to EU passports and banks taking a relaxed stance on money laundering.
It was stated that after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Southern Cyprus became an attractive center for Russian citizens in terms of low taxes, low scrutiny, and most importantly, a place to keep money abroad and out of sight of the Kremlin.
It was pointed out that although Southern Cyprus is one of the smallest economies in the EU, Russian investments are at the forefront of the largest foreign direct investments and the oligarchs use the island as a base for the money they will direct back home.
European Values Director of the Prague-based Center for Security Policy Jakub Janda’s expression “Cyprus, which looks like an EU state, is a Russian bank with dirty money” was also included in the article.
It was stated that Russia’s attacking the network of shell companies on the island and the raising of money laundering controls forced some Russians and they had to liquidate some of their assets.
The article also noted that besides banking, the “golden passports” of Cyprus were, until recently, seen as one of the easiest ways for Russians to buy the power and reputation that a bloc member state confers on its citizens.
With the financial crisis after Nicos Anastasiades came to power in 2013, the legislation first introduced in 2008 was relaxed and the investment requirement shown as the eligibility requirement was reduced from 10 million Euros to 3 million Euros and then further reduced.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office