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Putin and Barroso discuss Cyprus issue separately in private

March 22, 2013, 1:38 UTC+3

Peskov provided no details of the discussion

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MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) – President Vladimir Putin and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso discuss the Cyprus issue separately in private, presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said after the talks on Thursday, March 21.

“The issue of Cyprus was discussed separately one on one,” he said.

Peskov provided no details of the discussion.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that the financial situation in Cyprus can trigger a series of new crises, can inflict heavy losses on many banks and can lead to termination of the Russian-Cypriot agreement on the avoidance of double taxation.

“There is no doubt that this situation [regarding the Cyprus debt crisis] worries everyone in the European Union and can trigger a new series of local financial crises,” he said in an interview with European media on Wednesday, March 20.

Medvedev stressed that if the ban on bank operations, including with Russian participation, is not lifted, “this will be fraught with very serious losses.”

In his opinion, the Cyprus crisis can have many consequences. One may affect the Russian-Cypriot agreement on the avoidance of double taxation. “I do not know whether we need such an agreement in this situation. Its termination can become an issue to consider,” he said.

“We support efforts aimed at bringing order to the financial sector, revitalising banks and opening up information on account holders and beneficiaries. All these are normal things to do, but they should not cause the banking system to collapse,” the prime minister said.

In his opinion, the Cypriot banking system “is in a very difficult situation. It has basically been brought to a halt, let alone the fact that the financial situation in this EU member country is on the verge of default,” he said.

“We believe that they should have discussed such negotiations and decisions with different interested parties rather than hide behind phrases that it is inappropriate for Cyprus to discuss this with someone else,” Medvedev said. “Then let them make all decisions only within the EU. But I am not sure that this is so good,” he added.

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