The Cyprus banking system has no exposure to Russia, FinMin tells CNA

The economic sanctions imposed against Russia following is invasion of Ukraine are not affecting Cyprus to a large extent as the island’s banking system has no exposure to Russia, Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides has said, noting that Cyprus has no reserves held by the Russian Central Bank abroad which are now frozen.

“The sanctions concerning the EU banking system do not affect Cyprus to a large extent, as Cyprus’ banking system has no exposure to Russia,” Petrides told CNA.

The banking system, he added “maintains one of the highest levels of capital adequacy and liquidity ratios and there is no reason for concern for any Cypriot bank.”

Petrides also noted the Central Bank of Cyprus has no reserves held by the Russian Central Bank abroad, which are now frozen due to the sanctions.

“We have no exposure and there is no cause for concern,” he added.

Replying to a question, the Finance Minister said it is premature for Cyprus to revise its macroeconomic projections for 2022, due to the crisis in Ukraine.

“Surely there will be some impact which we are trying to contain,” he said, noting that new flights to and from alternative destinations will be announced soon, that would offset the tourist flows from Russia and Ukraine.

He noted that the duration of the crisis is key in relation to the extent of the macroeconomic impact, noting that “Cyprus will be affected much less than other countries.”

Petrides however noted that the macroeconomic impact is associated with inflationary pressures due to the rise of oil and wheat prices “something which cannot be assessed accurately at the time being.”

Furthermore, Petrides said he will convene the Economic Advisory Committee on Friday in the presence of the Ministers of Labour, Energy and Commerce, the Governor of the Central Bank and the social partners in a bid to assess the economic situation.

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