Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) chairman, Christodoulos Angastiniotis has expressed concern over imminent hikes in oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking after a meeting on Friday with left-wing AKEL leader Stephanos Stephanou, he told reporters “I am scared to even predict to where oil prices will reach”.
He said he was very concerned about Cyprus’ oil and grain reserves, noting both have huge repercussions on the economy and are the two most fundamental problems that the Cypriot economy is facing.
“We are totally dependent on liquid fuel and I am scared to predict how high the prices will reach”, he said, adding that since Cyprus imports 95% of its needs, any deficiency will directly affect the food chain and subsequently consumers’ finances.
Regarding the effects on tourism, he said this will be the fourth summer season with dire prospects but expressed optimism that “we will deal with it”. He also said he was optimistic that the banks in Cyprus will not be affected by the exclusion of Russia from the SWIFT global interbank payments system in a further round of sanctions aimed at halting Russia`s invasion of Ukraine, as all banks on the island are Cypriot owned.
However, he said Cyprus is a small country to have a catalytic effect on world economic developments and yet wise enough to protect its systems. “Surely, we will not come out of this unscathed”, he added.