Cyprus will not allow its reputation to be tarnished, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday, suggesting there would be more individuals and companies that might be sanctioned.
Already, the country has been reeling from the international glare that named 23 Cypriots and over a dozen companies as financially enabling Russian oligarchs to evade sanctions.
Christodoulides suggested more sanctions were likely to come and did not exclude some would affect Cypriots.
“We will not allow anyone to believe they can violate (sanctions), simultaneously creating problems for our country’s name, and think they can get away with it.”
Asked if the much-anticipated evidence from US and UK authorities has been received yet, Christodoulides said not yet “but we’re waiting for it any minute.”
The evidence in question concerns the data US and UK authorities has, that led them to sanction the Cypriot individuals and entities. The government has stressed it needs to examine the data so as to explore whether criminal charges should be filed against the individuals in question, if they violated Cypriot law.
“We have been informed the evidence will be provided gradually. It will not all be handed over in one tranche because there are many services involved from the US and UK.
“From our side, we are doing everything possible and will do whatever it takes so that our country, will never, under any circumstances, be considered as one that violates or does not implement sanctions.”
The president highlighted this was an opportunity “to finish this story and clear our name once and for all.” Efforts to polish Cyprus’ reputation have been ongoing for years and did not just begin, he said.
“This has so far reaped results and our goal is to improve it.”
Speaking to reporters at the sidelines of a Telethon event, he said he hoped the data could be given as soon as possible and “we will do everything we can.”