Monday

22nd Jan 2018

MEPs demand Cyprus open up over Russia money laundering

  • "The conduct of Cyprus … will have implications that go far beyond this case," the MEPs said. (Photo: jnocca93)

MEPs have urged Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades to "correct" the mishandling of a Russia corruption case.

The 17 deputies voiced "grave concern" in a letter to Nicosia on Friday (26 October) that Cyprus was "actively assisting" Russia in "politically-motivated proceedings" against Bill Browder, a British human rights campaigner.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

They also called on Cyprus to hold an investigation into alleged Russian money laundering via Cypriot banks.

They said Cyprus was "neglecting its duties under the European directives to combat money laundering".

"The conduct of Cyprus … will have implications that go far beyond this case," they said.

The European Parliament has no power to compel Cyprus to act.

But the MEPs' letter, signed by German green Rebecca Harms, Swedish conservative Gunnar Hokmark, and Lithuanian liberal Petras Austrevicius, among others, shone a spotlight on recent events on the island.

Cyprus has invited Russian interrogators to question Browder's lawyers.

It has also produced no results in a four-year probe into the laundering of a €195-million Russian tax fraud through its banks.

Browder used to run a hedge fund in Russia.

He became a campaigner for EU and US sanctions on Russia after his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, exposed the fraud and was subsequently jailed and killed.

The MEPs noted that "every other European country, Interpol [the international police agency] and the Council of Europe have deemed the Russian proceedings against Mr Browder to be politically motivated".

They said they were "appalled" that Cyprus was helping Russia to frame Browder for the crime.

The letter comes after a British MP urged the UK treasury to recommend that Cyprus' international anti-money laundering rating should be downgraded over the same issues.

The Cypriot justice ministry denied wrongdoing in a statement on Friday.

It said its probe, which began in 2013, into the Russia money laundering case was "open and ongoing".

Cyprus helping Russia to roll back US sanctions

Browder, a British activist who inspired a US law on freezing assets of Russian human rights abusers, said he was "terrified" of going to Cyprus because it would extradite him to Russia.

EU monitoring Cyprus passport sales

The European Commission has said it is in a "dialogue" with Cyprus amid concerns on loopholes in its passport sale scheme.

US backs Europe on Russia deterrent

US defence chief James Mattis has praised European efforts to jointly deter Russian aggression, amid talks on EU military integration.

News in Brief

  1. Germany confirms attendance at air quality summit
  2. Nearly half of 'fixed' Dieselgate cars show problems
  3. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook up hate speech deletion
  4. UK mulls bridge to France
  5. German far-right float anti-asylum bill
  6. EU Parliament to investigate glyphosate-decision process
  7. 'Mutagenesis' falls outside EU's GMO rules, says EU top lawyer
  8. Decision on Polish MEP's Nazi-era slur postponed

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK
  2. Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive
  3. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  4. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  5. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  6. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  7. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  8. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia