Government briefs US official on sanction busters

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The US State Department official Erik Woodhouse is in Cyprus carrying additional evidence concerning sanctions on Russian oligarchs and Cypriot financiers assisting them.

Woodhouse arrived on Wednesday on a two-day official visit and has held meetings with Cypriot officials on sanctions and Cypriot financiers’ involvement.

According to reports, Woodhouse clarified to Cypriot officials that sanctions which include Cypriot nationals are directed against Russia and not against the Republic, whose reputation is at stake.

Woodhouse – an expert in counter-threat finance — conveyed to the authorities that actions taken by the US were necessary for Cyprus to continue attracting foreign investments.

The visiting US official was briefed on the actions taken by the Cyprus government, under President Nikos Christodoulides’s instructions, regarding the implementation of the sanctions imposed on Russia.

“Cypriot officials have given the government’s determination to proceed with the full implementation of sanctions imposed on legal and natural persons,” said a Presidency statement.

Government spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis said the visit “is part of the broader framework of more effective implementation of sanctions enforcement”.

Nicosia has been in damage-control mode since sanctions were imposed by the US and UK earlier this year on Cypriot’ fixers’ for allegedly helping Russian oligarchs hide their assets following sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Ten Cypriots and 13 foreign-born Cyprus nationals, “oligarch enablers,” have been sanctioned by the US and the UK, with authorities fearing that more Cypriot entities could find themselves on the list due to exposure to Russia.