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New US, UK sanctions list of natural and legal persons in Cyprus before May’s end

A new list of names of natural and legal persons in Cyprus to be sanctioned by the United States and Britain is expected to arrive in Nicosia by the month’s end.

And this makes key legal and economic players in Cyprus very nervous, Philenews reported on Thursday.

The new list will not be related to the explanatory ones received by President Nikos Christodoulides on Monday and which concerned persons already under sanctions announced last month.

Insiders said the new list will bring new turmoil to the Cypriot business community, with economic as well as political implications.

The new sanctions are timed to coincide with the G7 summit which is set to take place the weekend of May 19-21 in Japan.

At the same time, the President has repeated that Cyprus would not tolerate any deviation from EU sanctions on Russia.

And that Nicosia was in touch with the U.S. and Britain after a number of its nationals were blacklisted last month as sanctions-busting enablers.

“The credibility of our country must be safeguarded and no deviation from EU sanctions will be tolerated,” Christodoulides has said.

Cyprus has significantly reduced its exposure to Russia since a financial crisis in 2013 forced the island to seek an international bailout and triggered an extensive shake-up of its banking sector.

Meanwhile, Bank of Cyprus BOCH.CY, the island’s largest bank, said it had notified around 4,000 clients with Russian passports who were not resident in the EU that their accounts would be closed.

“This action follows the suspension of Russia’s membership by the Financial Action Task Force and the designation of Russia as a non-cooperative tax jurisdiction by the European Union,” Bank of Cyprus said in a statement.

The bank said deposits held by the 4,000 clients accounted for less than 0.5 percent of total deposits.

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