Russian President Putin's
Russian President Putin

Russia is watching the United States’ moves in the eastern Mediterranean region and will react to any move that undermines its interests, the country’s Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav Osadchiy said on Sunday.

Any efforts in the direction of undermining the interests of Russia will not remain without an answer, Osadchiy warned in an interview with the local newspaper “Phileleftheros.”

Among the U.S. moves against Russia, Osadchiy mentioned “blatant pressure on Nicosia with the aim of removing Russian businesses and capital which have helped the island out of the crisis.”

Osadchiy was referring to Russian firms operating in Cyprus and to Russian deposits in Cypriot banks amounting to tens of billions of euros, during and after the economic crisis that forced Cyprus into a 10-billion-euro (11.4-billion-U.S.-dollar) bailout in 2013.

It is estimated that Russian depositors lost close to 4 billion euros (4.56 billion dollars) when deposits with the Bank of Cyprus were impaired by 37.5 percent to recapitalize the lender.

Another bank with a large amount of Russian deposits, Cyprus Popular Bank, commonly known as “Laiki” (“People’s”) Bank, was wound down and its assets taken over by Bank of Cyprus.

Osadchiy also criticized what he called negative outside factors “and more specifically anti-Russian sanctions by the European Union and the United States.”

However, he said that despite these negative factors, conditions still exist not only for maintaining, but also further expanding relations between Russia and Cyprus in many sectors. Enditem

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