Sanctioned Russian Businesses Eyeing North Cyprus

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Russian businesses in South Cyprus are rumoured to be moving to the TRNC in order to avoid sanctions, Greek Cypriot daily Kathimerini reports.

Members of parliament in south Nicosia have expressed concern over Russian businessmen fleeing the state and moving north to avoid European sanctions.

According to Sigmalive, independent MP Kostis Efstathiou confirmed with the network’s publication Economy Today on Friday that “Russian businessmen are relocating their headquarters both to the occupied areas as well as Arab countries”.

Currently, Russian assets in Greek Cypriot banks amount to one billion euros. The ‘Golden Visa’ scheme, established in 2013 and now suspended, has brought an estimated seven billion euros to the south’s coffers, Politico reports.

Meanwhile, Kathimerini writes that last month south Cyprus banks had shut down thousands of accounts belonging to Russian nationals after south Nicosia voluntarily increased additional sanctions imposed by the United States and Britain targeting local entities and individuals viewed as “Russian enablers”.

Reports say that a number of Greek Cypriot entities and individuals have been placed on the sanctions list and more were expected. Additionally, local banks have also cancelled agreements with such business entities.

Recent reports in the media have suggested that for some time, a surge of Russian businesses has been in the pipeline from the south to the TRNC. These have been prompted by action by Brussels which has sought to cut economic ties with Russia.

Last year, Turkish Cypriot media reports suggested that there could be moves to establish direct flights between Russia and North Cyprus. However, such reports were never confirmed by Russian officials.


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