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Russian business must help Cypriot economy – billionaire businessman

March 20, 9:37 UTC+4
Russian billionaire and politician Mikhail Prokhorov believes Cyprus must attract Russia along with the EU as “an equal third participant” for the settlement of the problem
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Photo ITAR-TASS

Photo ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) – Russian billionaire and politician Mikhail Prokhorov is confident that Russian business can help Cyprus to settle its financial problems.

“If we think that the financial crisis in Cyprus and in the European Union does not concern Russia, we are deeply mistaken. The EU is our biggest trade partner, and I want to remind you that Cyprus is among the three biggest investors in our economy,” Prokhorov said in an interview with the Vedomosti daily on Wednesday.

The businessman believes Cyprus must attract Russia along with the EU as “an equal third participant” for the settlement of the problem. “Russia is already a creditor of Cyprus, it has enough financial opportunities for rescuing the financial system of Cyprus through market means,” he stressed.

He emphasized that it is important that the Russian state authorities stand together with business. “In actual fact, the authorities must represent the position of business, while private business must defend the state’s position,” he said. “This will make it possible to guarantee stability of the Russian financial system and its depositors,” he said.

Offering his plan to rescue Cypriot economy, Prokhorov stresses that its authorities must give the banks an opportunity “for additional capitalization through means of depositors or in some other way”.

However, the banks cannot do without the assistance of the state and business as to the attraction of additional liquidity,” he said, adding that however “under this variant the banks having a more correct policy of risk managemetn, having a possibility to attract additional capital, for example from their shareholders, would have strong competitive advantages”.

In particular, the business executive is confident that “with the support of the parent bank, the Cypriote affiliate of VTB Bank could ensure its own additional capitalization without seizing clients’ money,” he stressed. As in this situation, “a bank subsidiary has a chance to overnight become the dominating player on the retail market of Cyprus.”

The politician is confident that if these measures are taken, Cyprus can retain the substantially undermined trust of investors, while Russia will demonstrate an active position on the European space. “Cyprus is Russia’s important partner and we must support our partner,” he summed up, adding that this is a chance for Russia to “demonstrate the position of a strong player on the global arena”.

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