Russians ‘launder money’ in South Cyprus

Russians ‘launder money’ in South Cyprus

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Russians ‘launder money’ in South Cyprus

Turkish Cyprus’ Prime Minister İrsen Küçük accuses Greek Cyprus to cooperate with Russian busienssmen for money laundering in their banks.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister İrsen Küçük has blamed the Greek Cypriot government for “cooperating with Russian businessmen for money laundering,” which led to its current banking crisis.

“They are trying to get over a big economic distress at the moment. We see that they were in cooperation with Russian businessmen for money laundering for a long time,” Küçük told the Hürriyet Daily News in Istanbul where he attended the opening ceremony of Istanbul Jewelery Show yesterday.

The southern part of Cyprus is currently experiencing panic because of its ongoing banking crisis, and is seeking ways to find a solution, Küçük added. 

Asked about claims that Gazprom, the giant Russian energy company, had secretly offered a private bailout plan to Greek Cyprus, Küçük said the Mediterranean offshore belonged to both the Turkish and Greek people of the island, and that no others could claim rights to the area without Northern Cyprus’ consent.

Gazprom allegedly offered to buy the exploration rights to offshore gas deposits in the Mediterranean Sea from the Greek Cypriot government, according to recent unconfirmed reports.

The fate of the proposal is uncertain, and Gazprom refused to confirm it had even made an offer.

Cyprus’ natural resources belong equally to the Turkish and Greek Cypriot people, and any efforts by Greek Cyprus to strike an agreement on them with Russia would be responded to strongly, Küçük said.