Cypriot president: of Cyprus and Russia

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, at a meeting with Russian journalists in November told the press, it would be wrong to believe that the economic crisis on the island began in March: in fact the build-up for this crisis started years ago.

Last March however, Cyprus was faced with a dilemma: accept the bankruptcy of the state and the banking system, or strike a deal on a hard loan from abroad. Today, the national debt is estimated at EUR 15 bln. Meanwhile, the available financial assistance to ensure bank liquidity is around EUR 9.2 bln. Despite the sad forecasts by Troika (EU, IMF, ECB) and others with negative outlook on economy (in some cases the foretold decline for Cyprus was as high as 9.9%), the rigid financial measures seem to help: the economy will loose only 7% by the end of this year. Hence, a positive outlook can be traced in the first revision report by Troika. The Cypriot President hopes that the next report will continue the positive trend.

Talking about the Russian investors in Cyprus, President Anastasiades emphasised his hope to regain their trust: «As for the Russian investors, we regret to have caused financial losses with our policy measures, and would like to compensate these losses to the Russian and other investors. We are deciding right now what sort of compensation to the investors this might be, once we reanimate the economy,» assured the Cypriot president.

Commenting on the developments in the banking sector, Anastasiades said: «Some people say that the Bank of Cyprus fell into Russian hands. Personally, God bless, if it is true. As far as I know, Russian side holds a significant interest in the Bank. We were glad to see that 6 out of the 16 Members of the Board represent Russian interests. We do not hold any reservations about this. On the contrary, we are glad to observe an increasing role of the Russian business in Cyprus and keep taking every possible measure to attract more Russian investors.»