Scores of companies to have assets unfrozen

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Cypriot authorities are working on unfreezing the assets of companies caught up in the UK and US sanctions fallout, while another list includes more Cypriot individuals that enabled sanctioned Russian oligarchs.

The Registrar of Companies, Irini Mylona, has been greenlighted to look into applications from many companies that appear to have nothing to do with sanction-busting activities, to have their assets unfrozen.

In comments to public broadcaster CyBC, Mylona confirmed that around 500 to 600 companies were awaiting processing and that her office was assembling a team of experts to study their requests.

Many companies were not directly involved in sanction-busting activities but saw their assets frozen because they had board members connected to sanctions or received administrative services from sanctioned firms.

Instructions were received by the Finance Ministry allowing for processing all companies, barring those with sanctioned natural entities included in the US and UK lists.

“Some companies will, therefore, not be eligible at the moment, but this only applies to a small minority.

“The majority of companies will be entitled to the process and are likely to be able to proceed with replacements of board members involved in sanctions,” said Mylona.

President of the bar association, Christos Clerides, said the registrar had sought the opinion of the legal services and that this had been delivered to the registrar’s offices on May 12.

As reported by local media, intense diplomatic efforts are underway for the banks to agree with the US and UK authorities to unfreeze funds.

More sanctions

Meanwhile, the government spokesperson Konstantinos Letymbiotis has confirmed that another sanction list from the UK and the US have been issued, including the names of Cypriot individuals and companies.

President Nikos Christodoulides issued a harsh warning on Friday over US and UK sanctions that have crippled the financial services sector.

“When there is a rotten apple, it must be removed,” Christodoulides said.

He confirmed the government would evaluate data from lists, including Cypriot individuals and legal entities and take the designated actions.

“The message is clear: I am not here to cover for anybody.

“Those found to have violated sanctions and created a bad name for the country and the industry will be faced with legal consequences,” said President Christodoulides.

Asked what action the government will take, he said: “We will first evaluate the data, and if they are true, we will take all necessary action.

“Only will we be able to ensure the good name of our country”.