Cyprus–Russia relations - Wikipedia
Russian spy ring: Questions for Cyprus after Canadian suspect goes make The Guardian sustainable by deepening our relationship with our. While the commercial relationship between Canada and Cyprus is modest, Canada has improved its already good commercial relations with. Cypriot–Russian relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation. The USSR established diplomatic.
The American ambassador to Cyprus, Frank Urbancic, held an hour-long meeting today with the president of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias, but a government spokesman insisted the US had made no formal complaint.
Last night Michalis Papathanasiou, Metsos's lawyer in Cyprus, said: He had agreed to call me between 3pm and 4pm this afternoon but failed to do so. How can I represent him if I have no instructions? The Russian foreign ministry at first criticised the arrests of the 11 and the FBI claims of an espionage ring as "baseless and improper". It hinted that ties could suffer, days after Barack Obama declared a new era in relations during a visit to Washington by the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev.
The Russian prime minister, Vladimir Putin, told the former US president, Bill Clinton, that the American police were "out of control" and said he hoped the arrests would not reverse "all the positive gains". The foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said the alleged spies had "not committed any actions directed against US interests".
Canada–Cyprus relations - Wikipedia
But within hours both sides were dismissing the possibility that the breaking up of the alleged spy ring would set back relations. Today the Russian foreign ministry said that it expects the arrests "will not negatively affect Russian-US relations". The US state department echoed the sentiment. Part of the reason for the retreat may be the growing scepticism in Russia and the US over just how serious a threat to American national security was posed by a spy operation that in many ways appears to be a hangover from the cold war.
While there is little doubt that the core of the operation involved extensive efforts to hide the identities of eight Russian agents who posed as four married couples and sought to become deeply Americanised, even after a surveillance operation lasting a decade, the FBI has been unable to show that the spy ring gathered any intelligence that would count as espionage.
The indictment against a total of 11 people involved in the alleged spy ring accuses them only of money laundering and of failing to register as agents of a foreign government, as is required by law. But the FBI does not accuse them of passing on classified material to Moscow. Moscow has acknowledged that most of the alleged spies hold Russian citizenship. Anastasiades' daughters, for instance, are shareholders in a Russian state chemicals firm called Bashkir Soda via an investment vehicle called Imperium Nominees.
The president's office said there was nothing untoward about his family's Russian income. In this professional capacity, and according to common practice, they may act as nominees on behalf of clients of their law firm who happen to have shares or any other interest in various firms," such as Bashkir Soda, it said. Popular with Russian tourists and thugs Photo: The special relationship also relies on fear to exert pressure.
When a senior partner in a Cypriot law firm with links to the Cypriot government explained the idea to Demetriades, he said: Then, once you've been compromised, they come with threats of blackmail and physical violence.
It's standard operating procure. A Russian oligarch would be unlikely to harm a Cypriot lawyer or politician, according to Mark Galeotti, a British writer on Russian organised crime. But the well-known links between the Kremlin, Russian intelligence, and the Russian mafia, give Russia's business barons a frightening reputation, Galeotti, an academic at the European Universities Institute in Florence, Italy, said.
The fact the "vory v zakone", a violent caste of Russian criminals, has set up camp in Cyprus, where they operate real estate scams, and where they shot dead a man in broad daylight in the town of Limassol in February, magnifies the fear factor.
Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
Putin asked Anastasiades for 'satisfactory' result on Browder Photo: Its attorney general showed backbone by handing evidence on Manafort to the US and one of its courts recently granted an injunction which annoyed Putin. Anastasiades has not vetoed renewals of EU sanctions on Russia imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.
But he has often criticised those sanctions, breaking EU ranks on foreign policy. Cyprus has also broken EU ranks in an international criminal justice affair by facilitating Russia's efforts to go after Browder, Putin's gadfly. The last time Anastasiades met Putin, in Moscow in Octoberthe Russian leader publicly told him at a Kremlin press conference that he wanted a "satisfactory" result on his request for "legal assistance" in the matter.
Satisfaction What he wanted was for Cyprus to let Russian law enforcement officers come to Nicosia to raid Browder's law firm there and interrogate staff. Other EU states and Interpol, the international police agency in Lyon, France, have, many times, denounced the case as a "politically motivated" smear campaign. It was meant to make him look like a criminal to stop his hunt for Russian money and his campaign for tougher EU and US sanctions, Browder said.
It was also meant to get him extradited to Russia for revenge. Russian officials had already flown to Nicosia for the raid inwhen they were turned back at the airport because Browder had obtained a Cypriot court injunction.
But almost one year after the Putin-Anastasiades meeting, Cypriot authorities have not given up on a "satisfactory" outcome.
Cyprus' justice minister, Ionas Nicolaou, "is currently thoroughly studying the decision of the court [Browder's injunction] Putin's request to Anastasiades was in any case in vain due to the separation of powers in Cyprus, the president's chancellery said.
The Cypriot leader "does not act under political pressure from any other country," it said. Constitutional order But for Browder, if the raid goes ahead, it would give the lie to claims of constitutional order and Anastasiades' independence.
Gomes has also raised alarm on rule of law in Malta Photo: Cyprus may face consequences for the abrogation of its commitments to EU in the area of rule of law and human rights," the euro-deputies said in a letter to Anastasiades on 7 September. An Irish court recently declined to extradite a Polish suspect to Poland under the so-called European Arrest Warrant EAW on grounds he might not get a fair trial due to political interference in the judiciary.
Cyprus' treatment of Browder posed similar questions on EAWs.
When EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova met Cyprus justice chief Nicolao in Nicosia on 22 September, she talked about Cyprus' sales of EU passports, justice reform, and gender equality, but not money laundering or Browder. Cyprus mostly sells EU passports to wealthy Russians, such as Oleg Deripaska, another oligarch who is under US sanctions for election-meddling, but Joureva did not go into this either. But "we're not here to point fingers at member states, we're here to support them," a Europol contact told EUobserver when asked about the situation today.
EBA has next to zero staff dealing with money-laundering Photo: But the EBA would have to staff up if its investigation was to unearth anything useful. EU-level action must go further if it was to make an impact, Demetriades said. You smell something, or you have a tip-off, and then there's an international [EU] team coming to Malta, Cyprus, or Latvia and they have real powers to check things out," he told this website.
The ECB should also defend itself against dodgy central bankers, Demetriades added. There has to be some form of control or oversight of the process and the right of veto, possibly by the ECB itself," he said.
Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
Whatever its merits, the commission AML proposal foresaw first talks in Juneone month after next year's European Parliament elections. Public opinion But it would be a mistake to hope voters might change things by punishing wrongdoers in the ballot box, Demetriades said. It remains to be seen if the Danske Bank scandal will have political consequences in Denmark. Public perception of corruption in Cyprus also worsened in the past five years, when its rating slid by nine points in an index by Transparency International, an NGO in Brussels.
But there was no backlash because "people in Cyprus think everybody's laundering Russian money - the Americans, the Germans, the British - so why should we be any different? EU vote due in May Photo: