Has Russia Taken Over Crippled Cypriot Banks in Exchange for Energy Rights?
Wednesday, 20th March 2013
Nicosia is buzzing this morning with talks that Russian energy giant Gazprom, has bought one of Cyprus’ largest banks in exchange for rights to oil and natural gas newly discovered in the sea within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Such a deal has not yet been officially confirmed by Cyprus or Russia. The only official reference is a press release by the Cyprus Press and Information Office stating in part, “Tonight [last night] at 8.30 pm, President Anastasiades had a half-hour conversation with the President of the Russian Federation Mr Vladimir Putin. It was a fruitful and constructive discussion on the economic relations between the two countries.”
The bank holiday continues today, meaning bank transactions are closed except for ATM withdrawals. It is believed that banks will re-open Tuesday.