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Proposed tax on Cypriot deposits undermines confidence in other banks – Russian Vice-premier

March 20, 2013, 13:53 UTC+3

"If such a decision is possible in Cyprus it means it is possible everywhere," Dvorkovich stressed

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MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) – The proposal to introduce a levy on banks deposits at Cypriot banks might create a dangerous precedent which might undermine confidence in banks of other countries, Russian Vice-premier Arkady Dvorkovich said a meeting with students of Moscow Institute of Steel on Wednesday.

"If such a decision is possible in Cyprus it means it is possible everywhere," Dvorkovich stressed. "If such a thing is possible everywhere it means that money should not be kept at banks, at any banks. It means that the system will no longer work," he explained.

It is very easy to undermine the population's confidence in banks, barely one day might be enough for that, but regaining the lost confidence might take dozens of years, Dvorkovich warned.

The vice-premier said he was surprised to hear the students asking him about the proposed levy on deposits at Cypriot banks. "Does any of you keep money in Cyprus? No one does, I see. Neither do I," Dvorkovich said.

On March 16 the Euro Group decided to allocate ten billion euros to Cyprus, making an unprecedented decision that investors in Cypriot banks should be forced to give support to the Cypriot authorities' efforts to bail out the Cypriot economy out of the crisis.

President Vladimir Putin warned of possible negative implications of the proposed plan. "It would be unfair, unprofessional and dangerous," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov quoted the Russian president as saying.

In a telephone conversation with Vladimir Putin President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades informed the Russian president about a resolution adopted by the Cypriot parliament to turn down the initiative proposed by the Euro Group. For his part, Putin expressed concern over possible measures which might be of detriment to the interests of Russian juridical and physical entities, Peskov said.

During the telephone conversation the two presidents agreed to continue the consultations on a bilateral level and with the European Commission.

On Wednesday the Russian finance minister is to meet his Cypriot counterpart in Moscow.

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