"Cyprus Confidential": Revelations to be made against the backdrop of sanctions and compliance
08:20 - 14 November 2023
Cyprus’ government and professional services sector are awaiting the revelations of the ICIJ-International Consortium of Investigative Journalists investigation, with the first findings to have emerged from the "Cyprus Confidential" probe anticipated today.
Any upcoming revelations by the ICIJ, however, it should be noted, come at a time when Cyprus emphasises that it has been and still is applying, from the first moment and with rigor, the sanctions concerning Russia. The government has underlined its determination for zero tolerance and "clearing" the island’s name to safeguard its reputation as a reliable international financial and service centre.
Indicative of the effort and determination to implement the sanctions, as well as the steps that Cyprus has taken in this context, were the statements made just a few weeks ago by the USA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Joshua Hack, who praised Cyprus’ actions in honouring its commitments and expressed US satisfaction regarding the strong cooperation in this area.
In fact, Joshua Hack praised the President of the Republic for the zero tolerance policy towards anyone who seeks to help others avoid the economic sanctions imposed on Russia, indicating that these actions underline the mission of the Christodoulides government to further build up Cyprus's reputation as business and financial centre.
It should be recalled that, among other things, in its session on 28 June of last year, the Council of Ministers decided on a series of measures for the coordination of sanctions, with the course of their implementation being put on the table and reviewed in the context of a meeting held last week at the Presidential Palace.
The measures that were decided last June and which have been put on track, are also included in the response that the Presidency was going to send to the ICIJ on 13 November, and which according to the Deputy Minister to the President Irine Piki, were requested last Friday (10 November)- ahead of the start of the organisation’s disclosures.
"A comprehensive response has been prepared where we basically say what we have done since the day we took over from 1 March, the decision that was made in June on the sanctions issues and how it is being implemented, about which, as you know, there was a meeting last week under the President of the Republic and where we reviewed how each of the included actions is being implemented," Piki commented.
Reiterating that the goal is zero tolerance and stressing the government's will for preventive action in addition, the Deputy Minister to the President focused on and indicated that one of the measures decided upon is the establishment of a Unified Sanctions Implementation Unit, for which assistance is being received from British experts through the British government.
"The whole logic of the establishment of a Unified Sanctions Implementation Unit and other actions decided in June," she underlined, "is to have a point of contact in the Ministry of Finance, with which both internal and foreign authorities can communicate, to provide information. The fact also that an agreement will be entered into with the University of Cyprus to precisely locate this information (including support for the actions for the implementation of sanctions and restrictive measures in the Republic), are moves made for us to act proactively".
Asked about the content and what the government expects from the ICIJ revelations, Irine Piki recommended keeping a cool head.
"Let's see what will be published calmly, we will evaluate it, we will study it, and whatever measures need to be taken, the government is determined to take," underlined the Deputy Minister to the President. On 13 November, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis made statements in a similar vein.