Cyprus awaits an updated lists of sanctioned persons by the UK and the US authorities with a Cypriot Finance Ministry senior official noting on Friday that the new lists will not include any surprises.
In the meantime, the UK government announced the UK Sanctions List, including 86 persons and entities linked to the Kremlin. The list includes Russian nationals and Russian entities and there is not person or enterprise with an apparent link to Cyprus.
Giorgos Panteli, Permanent Secretary of the Finance Ministry, told CNA that the Cypriot authorities were briefed over the updated sanctions lists, adding that in case additional Cypriot natural persons and entities are included, they will be forwarded to the Law Office for scrutiny over possible sanctions violation.
“Some lists were given and we are waiting for an analysis of persons and entities, we are cautiously optimistic that we will not have the surprises we had the last time,” Panteli said.
Panteli said that the Ministry will try to contain the fallout to the services sector, as hundreds of persons and entities were affected due to connections to sanctioned persons. Following the previous lists by the UK and the US the Cypriot banks froze the assets of sanctioned persons, including non-sanctioned service provides due to their connections with sanctioned persons. This sparked a series of changes in boards and share holders of the affected companies. Following a legal opinion by the Law Office, the Registrar of Companies said it will accept these changes so that these persons will be allowed to carry on their operations.
“This will free the (affected) companies to continue their operations,” Panteli said.
Furthermore, Kyriakos Iordanou, Director of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus (ICPAC) told CNA that the sector is marked by uncertainty and concern ahead of the updated sanctions lists.
“There is a wide-spread concern and uncertainty in the market particularly in all those involved in the services sector as for the day after of new sanctions,” he said.
He furthermore added that ICPAC will meet next week with officials from the UK to discuss the wider issued or sanctions control.
Moreover, Iordanou said the issue “has stigmatised the country’s reputation with significant impact on the capacity to provide services as an international centre.”