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Deutsche Welle: Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs stung by Cypriot bank tax

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March 19, 2013, 7:10 p.m. | Ukraine abroad — by Deutsche Welle

Russian elites are dismayed at the EU's newest condition for Cypriot bailout funds: taxes on standard bank accounts. Like regular Cypriots, oligarchs with billions invested in the island might have to pay. But it's not just Russia that is affected by the proposed bank account tax in Cyprus. Oligarchs in Ukraine also like to transfer money to Cyprus and then re-invest it back home.
© Associated Press

Russian elites are dismayed at the EU's newest condition for Cypriot bailout funds: taxes on standard bank accounts. Like regular Cypriots, oligarchs with billions invested in the island might have to pay.

Russia's elite are angry. Cyprus's plan to seize deposits is "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous," said Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Monday (18.03.2013). Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev added fuel to the fire. "This simply looks like the confiscation of other people's money," he said. 

Events in Cyprus also affected Moscow's stock exchange, as shares from two major Russian banks - VTB and Sberbank - dropped roughly five percent when trading started. According to media reports, both banks are said to have more than $10 billion (7.7 billion euros) stashed in deposits in Cyprus. 

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