George Christofides, Vice President of the Bar Association, addressed the sanctions imposed by the UK and US on legal and natural persons in Cyprus during an interview on the "DIASPORA NEWS" program. He highlighted the significant consequences of these sanctions, which extend beyond the targeted individuals and companies to also impact their staff and services.
Efforts are being made by the Bar Association to obtain accurate information and justification for the sanctions, including meetings with the Ministry of Finance and the US Embassy in Cyprus, with a planned meeting with the UK High Commission. Christofides emphasized the importance of understanding the reasons behind the sanctions, which were based on information predating the 2014 sanctions and implemented in March 2022 with amendments in October 2022.
The Vice President explained that the problem lies in the broad interpretation of the sanctions by oligarchs, which differs from what was originally identified. He expressed concerns about the course of events and potential surprises, as neither he nor the relevant authorities have complete knowledge of the matter.
Christofides clarified that the UK and US sanctions are not obligatory on the state, but due to their impact on banking institutions involved in dollar transactions, they are enforced by intermediary banks. As a result, authorities are forced to make decisions that may have consequences, and he urged institutions, the state, and the Central Bank to handle the issue wisely to avoid negative impacts on professionals.
Regarding the next steps, Christofides mentioned that each affected party will take its own measures, and the police will intervene in case of possible offenses. He highlighted the importance of proper and adequate information for all parties involved, including the affected individuals.