The Cyprus-Russia links have received a lot of media attention lately, not least because Cyprus and its banks seem to have served as a meeting point between close associates of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, if not also a conduit for financial flows (the jury is still out on this, awaiting the findings of the Mueller investigation).
Paul Manafort, former campaign manager of Donald Trump, used Cypriot banks in his dealings with Russia and Ukraine. Wilbur Ross became a major shareholder of Bank of Cyprus in mid-2014, joining in with a number of close associates of Mr Putin, including Viktor Vekselberg, who is now sanctioned by the United States. Ross became a Vice President of the Bank while Joseph Ackerman, member of Vekselberg’s holding company’s management board Renova, became the bank’s chairman.
The book itself tells the story of how the Bank of Cyprus came under the control of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs and reveals the political pressures on the central bank to approve their fitness and probity. It also sheds light on the role played by Cypriot politically connected law firms in turning Cyprus (including those belonging to current and past presidents families’) into a safe heaven for foreign oligarchs.
In addition, it provides a broader political, historical and cultural context for the links between Russia and Cyprus, and explains why and how they came under close scrutiny by Germany and the rest of Europe during the crisis.
- Click here for an article in the Guardian about Wilbur Ross and his connections to politically connected Russian oligarchs in Cyprus.
- Click here for an article by American investigative journalist Scott Stedman about Donald Trump’s Moscow developer, represented by a prominent Cypriot law firm that acts on behalf of a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin.
- Click here for an article by American investigative journalist Scott Stedman about the links between the President of Cyprus’ family and the largest chemical plant in Russia.
- Click here for an article by the Global Anti-corruption Consortium on the sale of Cypriot passports to Russian oligarchs, including the one who employed Paul Manafort.
- Click here for an article in the Guardian about Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska joining hundreds of others obtaining an EU passport in Cyprus.
- Click here for an article in Greece’s TA NEA, entitled “Are Putin’s wolves returning to Cyprus?”, with some quotes from me. Published 25 May 2018.