Russian ambassador says Browder’s court case hurt ties to Russia

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By Stelios Orphanides

Russian ambassador to Nicosia Stanislav Osadchiy said that Cyprus’s relations to Russia, one of its major commercial partners, suffered after Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder resorted to Cypriot Justice, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Friday.

“Browder applied to your court and we believe that days before President (Nicos) Anastasiades’s visit (to Russia) this is rather not that good for our bilateral relations,” Osadchiy was quoted as saying by CNA.

The Russian diplomat, who was commenting to the press in the context of the Cyprus-Russian Business and Investment Forum in Limassol, said that the whole issue “is not a disagreement with Cyprus; it is a disagreement between Russia and Browder”.

“He has stolen a lot of money from the Russian company Gazprom and we are trying to figure it out, and I think we will succeed,” he said and added that the case is being trialled in a Russian court.

With an emergency injunction in Cyprus, investor-turned-activist Browder wants to force the Cypriot authorities to terminate their cooperation with Russia in a probe against Cypriot subsidiaries of Hermitage Capital. Russia launched the investigation against Browder in response to the latter’s international campaign for justice for Russian lawyer and accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian prison tortured and deprived of medical care eight years ago. Magnitsky was arrested by the same police officers he implicated in a $230m (€194m) tax theft. Part of the money has been laundered through Cyprus.

Two years ago, Cypriot police raided the office of Browder’s previous lawyers, accompanied by Russian police officials. Interpol has repeatedly dismissed Russia’s requests for cooperation and the Council of Europe asked its member states in 2014 not to cooperate with Russia and instead take targeted measures against individuals implicated in Magnitsky’s death similar to those provided in the US Magnitsky Act.

Osadchiy said in response to a question whether he shares the displeasure of Russian authorities that “when we say displeasure, we mean that we don’t like that this issue occurred at this moment”.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it had ‘serious doubts about the legality of the decision’ of the Cyprus court urging the government to hold off on further action pending its hearing of Browder’s injunction, which was ‘in stark contrast to the level and nature of bilateral relations’. This prompted the Cypriot Minister of Justice to respond with assurances that Cyprus would continue cooperating with Russia in the area in question after having suspended the joint investigation temporarily, “respecting the judicial procedure”.

On Wednesday, Osadchiy turned down a request for comment when contacted by the Cyprus Business Mail.

The Cyprus Business Mail understands that the decision to temporarily suspend legal cooperation with Russia in its retaliatory probe against Browder was conveyed verbally to Osadchiy, after judge Ioannis Ioannides of the Nicosia District Court told the government’s lawyer at a court hearing on Oct. 4 that he expected that the government would not pre-empt the court’s decision. The next hearing is scheduled for November 6.

In 2014, the Russian ambassador publicly criticised Cypriot historian and researcher Makarios Drousiotis after the latter published a book which demolished the impression that Turkey’s 1974 invasion on the island was a US plot and instead showed that the Soviet Union encouraged it to send troops to the island in response to a Greek coup. Drousiotis was an advisor to President Anastasiades at the time.

In December last year, Osadchiy was the only diplomat who attended an anti-settlement seminar organised by opposition parties Diko, Edek, Solidarity, Greens and Citizens’ Alliance.

President Anastasiades is scheduled to visit Moscow in nine days.

“We are expecting with anticipation the President’s visit and we believe it will be important,” Osadchiy said and added that “we will discuss political issues, with the Cyprus problem on the top of the agenda, ties to Turkey and Cyprus and issues of mutual interest such as the economy”.

Osadchiy added that after the recent meeting of the joint-committee for economic cooperation early this month, the two sides are planning to sign up to six agreements.

“Our trade volume is increasing, we have more investment and the fact that Cyprus is number one in terms of investment in Russia means that our capital comes here and returns to Russia to invest,” he said.

The Russian diplomat said that the sale of the S-400 surface-to-air system to Turkey which occupies the northern part of Cyprus “has nothing to do with Cyprus” and, anyway, the sale has not been finalised yet.

 

 

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About Author

Stelios Orphanides is a journalist at CyprusBusinessMail.com. To contact Stelios Orphanides: [email protected]

  • Neroli

    Just turn the whole island over to Russia, its nearly there anyway. And for Nik to sack Drousiotis because the Russians didn’t like the truth was appalling

    • Philippos

      This whole Russian Dependent and Fawning episode that Cyprus is going through will end in tears, mark my words. Blinded by LEFTA we shall become a Russian Province. The Pieces are already being assembled by Vladimir back home. There will be a Russian Political Party, a Russian City, A Russian Naval Base and an Army and Air force Facility capable of rapid extension for operational readiness. Their relations with Erdogan are warming up again as an option if somehow we get weaned off Lefta and change course. Make no mistake, “they” are not our friends. Where were they in 2013? Sarris came home empty handed from Moscow or have we forgotten that already?

      • Cydee

        Goes against what I ‘want’, but have to agree. What is the bigger picture for Russia…..friends (for now) with Turkey; friends (for now) with ROC. Future plans……help Turkey re-take north, then south Cyprus; then wipe-out Turkey and presto; USSR reborn…..

        • Martin Standage

          Anything is possible=from Putin and co. there are no limits and no qualms!

      • Neroli

        You’re absolutley right and as for Sarris it was embarrassing to see him crawling to Putin who said nyet! Russia is certainly no friend of Cyprus especially after egging on Turkey to invade. The last thing Russia wanted was Cyprus to become part of NATO with enosis

        • Martin Standage

          This is what I keep trying to explain to some naive greek-Cypriots-maybe they should have watched Simon Reeves travel series to see what kind of a place Russia REALLY is!

      • Barry White

        “If it is good enough for the Crimea, it is good enough for Cyprus.” V. Putin.

        The only difficulty to be resolved is it better for Mother Russia to annex Cyprus or to have Russia’s Best friend Turkey do it. Decisions… Decisions.

        The good news is that Cyprus does not object to armed invasion and the annexation of a country. As long as it is Mother Russia doing the invading and occupation.

    • Vova Khavkin

      The Godfather hath spoken, and Nic and Nik must obey. In truth, however, the breakaway regime in the North is more legitimate than the Moscow ulus of the Golden Horde, a.k.a. “Russia”

  • Evergreen

    A polite threat?

  • Veritas

    In any other democratic country, this ambassador would have been declared ‘persona non grata’ years ago. It’s unbelievable, that our Government accept his threats and interference in the domestic affairs of RoC, over and over again.
    In the name of Mammon we’re now definitely becoming the Mother of all bananias.

    • gentlegiant161

      And the ‘justice minister’ sat on information regarding the case requested by France for a year?
      On whose orders ?
      They must have some pretty strong hold on the prominent Government figures to be so bold,
      They are almost swaggering

      • Barry White

        Indeed a very strong hold -€ 2.5 billion and interest. Prez Nik will be told in Moscow what is expected of Cyprus to have the debt renewed. Otherwise, it will have to be repaid and it’s another trip to the Bank of Depositors’ savings to keep the Families in the style that they accustomed.

    • Paranam Kid

      Threats? He’s just stating the obvious: if RoC accepts this injunction from a crook it values that relationship less than its relationship with Russia.

      Interference in domestic affairs? In what way? Browder came here trying to sell his sordid anti-Russia story, hoping that good ol’ RoC would go for it immediately.

      • Muffin the Mule

        Suggest you read up on Magnitski..

        • Paranam Kid

          I have. He was a crook too, with Browder pretending M to be a lawyer who uncovered the $ 230 mln scam, when he (M) was deeply involved in it.

          • Martin Standage

            So you have absolutely unbiased evidence to back your claims???

          • Paranam Kid

            I have.

        • Martin Standage

          It’s a horror story and even more so because it is true!

      • Veritas

        He’s interfering with our juridiciary and the rights of a free press(the Makarios Drousiotis case). His behaviour is unaccepable, well beyond his diplomatic accreditaion.
        That you can’t sence any threats in his diplomatic language, is understandable. Being a hard core defender of anything USSR and Russia, you’re never interested in anything but anti-Western outbursts.

        • Paranam Kid

          And you being a hardcore defender & regurgitator of the MSM bullshit you will see Russia conspiracies everywhere.

          I am not anti-Western: I think the EU is the most beautiful & ambitious political/economic project undertaken in history, am a keen supporter. My anti-Western gripe is merely the US’s behaviour, the EU’s subservient attitude towards it, and Israel’s genocidal/apartheid & imperialist policies with which it controls the US’s ME policies.

          So, there you have it, Mr blinkered MSM parrot.

          • Veritas

            I think it would be better if you stayed with the actual issue, instead of using a very aggressive attitude, personal abuses and slipping away from the subject.
            At times you do have many valid points on various subjects, but my advise to you is not to loose yr temper as soon an someone doesn’t agree with you.
            Finally, since I’m not familiar with the expression “MSM bullshit” or “MSM parrot”, I can’t give you any view on that.

          • Paranam Kid

            I think it would be better if you stayed with the actual issue, instead of using a very aggressive attitude, personal abuses and slipping away from the subject.
            Let me remind you that you were 1st to start the personal attacks, yo before you start u stated:
            Being a hard core defender of anything USSR and Russia, you’re never interested in anything but anti-Western outbursts.
            I merely reused your terminology. I did not get upset & even went on to explain in what way I am not anti-Western, whereas your reply was nothing but aggression.

            So let me give you 1 piece of advice: before you start using big words & attacking someone, you had better be sure about your case & what you are saying. In this thread you have already made a fool (I’m being polite) of yourself.

            Finally, FYI: MSM = main stream media. You can google the meaning of that. As for the reputation of the MSM, which is dominated by the MSM in the US, well, i is not a pretty picture, but you’ll have to educate yourself on that one.

          • Veritas

            For yr info, I’m fully aware of the term MSM, but I asked you, with an ironic angle, about the expressions “MSM bullshit” and “MSM parrot”. To me, you use it as a pretext to move away from the original subject.
            As for the rest, it’s not of the standard to even reply to.

          • Paranam Kid

            I don’t need to move away from the original subject, I have no qualms about my comments.

            You, on the other hand, don’t even have the decency to admit you started with personal attacks & abuse. You still have a lot to learn.

      • Martin Standage

        Brwoders story is true-I can assure you from my personal knowledge and experiences in Russia!

        • Paranam Kid

          Your personal knowledge & experience of Russia are irrelevant unless yu have studied the case, which you have not otherwise you would know Browder is a pure crook, as was Magnitsky.

          Having said that, I know Russia is by no means a perfect society, and Putin is dictatorial, but don’t lose your sense of reality because of MSM propaganda.

          • Martin Standage

            I have studiedthe case or I would not have commented about it and have no doubt that Bill is telling the truth about what happened to Sergey Magnitsky as a result of him daring to expose high-level corruption by officials of Putins regimewho also came to Limassol by the way-this is what worries me even more!

          • Paranam Kid

            You have studied the case? Hasn’t it struck you that Russia has asked for international cooperation with an open investigation. Interpol & the Council of Europe refused. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? What are they afraid of?

            If it were the other way around with Russia refusing cooperation with an open investigation everybody would be up in arms accusing it of playing dirty games. But in the current situation Russia is still the treacherous one. SOS, as usual.

          • Martin Standage

            The Council of Europe are well aware that Russia will never allow an open investigation into anything which might prove that it’s regime is guilty of wrongdoing!The way Scotland Yard detectives were treated in Moscow when they went there to investigate the Litvinenko case are a very good example of how Russia views ‘co-operation!’.Another more recent case is the way the U.N. commitee on human rights were not allowed to make investigations in Crimea of alleged violations there….

          • Paranam Kid

            Whatever happened with other cases is irrelevant for this case, as each case is unique & needs to be assessed on its individual merits.

            Russia showed its goodwill this times, so why refuse? If the CoE was sincere in its objectives it would have accepted, unless there are other sinister reasons for refusing.

          • Evergreen

            One act of “Good Will’ can not be termed as character. You know it PK.

          • Martin Standage

            I can only suspect that you must have some serious interests or connections with Russia to keep trying to defend Putins regime?It would be interesting to see what would happen here if they feel out with Cyprus?Probably quite a few Russians who live here and don’t like the current situation there would
            be very glad ?

          • Paranam Kid

            FYI, I have NO connections there. What I am fighting against is fake news, government propaganda, and consistently double standards to revile Russia, like Iran is reviled, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, China, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and once upon a time also Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, ….. the list is endless.

            And the likes of you, as many others on this forum, blindly gobble up that nonsense & regurgitate it without giving it a 2nd thought.

          • Martin Standage

            I don’t know about any of the other countries you mentioned except that at least one of them has a very bad regime(N.K) and is taunting the USA to start WW3!But I do know a lot about Russia and this case so therefore consider myself qualified to make accurate postings about it?

          • Paranam Kid

            If you know as much about Russia as you know about NK, then I understand your position about Browder. It is not NK that is taunting the US to start WW3 but it is the other way round. NK is not the topic here so I won’t go into details; suffice to state that there have been plenty of events since 1994, when the 1st nuclear deal was signed and the US reneged on that deal & others, as well as on its promises to NK, all based on lies & on twisting facts.

            Regarding lies & twisting facts: the decertification of the Iran deal is an excellent example.

            I also understand now why you end your comment with a question mark.

    • Martin Standage

      This is a question of principle but imagine if the British or American Ambassador interfered in a similar way?He would have been forced to leave Cyprus within days if not even hours!

      • Veritas

        Correct.

  • Didier Ouzaid

    Basically says ‘you’re not gonna let your justice system and democratic values in the way of all we do for you’. Nothing short of a dependency…

  • AnalogMind

    So, according to Russia the S400 sale is not final yet and perhaps will never become one.

    It also appears that Russia’s issue in this Browder’s case is with the EU and not Cyprus which has to implement EU directives.

    • Martin Standage

      Russia will do what suits its interest and I would agree with their Ambassador on one thing which is that’ the sale of the S400 system to Turkey HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CYPRUS!.’Maybe we have forgotten the S 300 fiasco when Russia was very happy to take our taxpayers money while probably being already aware that Turkey would never allow us to receive them!Not forgetting either the people in power here who did very nicely from this little ‘non adventure!’As for the second question, who can Cyprus most afford not to upset about the Magnitsky case?The E.U. or Russia?

  • elbmw

    Hmn, me thinks they may have shot the wrong ambassador.

  • Martin Standage

    What is most worrying is how some people who have posted here seem to think the whole thing is a joke or just another fabrication by supposed Anti-Russian and Anti-Cypriots etc. according to one person yesterday!It is shocking how much some Greek-Cypriots seem to still consider that Putins regime is a friend of Cyprus-or indeed of anyone?Even the veiled threat by the Russian Ambassador that this incident is ‘not favourable in view of Anastassiades impending visit to Moscow ‘in a week or so reflects the mentality of the Russian authorities and how much they respect other countries who do not totally comply with their wishes?Another very exemplary case is the Litvinenko affair where a deadly radio active substance that could not have been obtained without authority from the highest level in Russia was used to silence a former agent of theirs who also knew too much about the regime,this time in London and in a way which potentially put thousands of innocent people at risk in a foreign country!By comparison what happened to Magnitsky is more than plausible?In a country where the rule of law is arbitrary and there is no effective independent civil society as we know it in the west surely this should be more than enough for the Cypriot authorities to be more than cautious about dealing with the Russian authorities, especially when there are political implications, as this case clearly suggests?Or is the bitter truth that Russia has already infiltrated the Cyprus economic and political establishment to such an extent and has so much ‘kompromat’ on them that they dare not refuse to co-operate ??The outcome of this affair will be a reflection of this ,as will Anastassiades visit to Moscow, although of course we will most probably know what was said behind closed doors???

  • Costas Apacket

    The prat Osadchiy always looks like he’s just come from starring in Billy Smart’s Circus in that outfit.

    Can you imagine any other EU country allowing Russian police to interfere with an internal police investigation?

    Perhaps they didn’t trust the keystone cops?

    • Barry White

      I love his uniform – The Chocolate Soldier does come to mind.

  • hornet

    everyone’s looking after their interests including russia – even when they have to resort to bull shit to justify it

    • Barry White

      Absolutely, hornet. The Elite repeat the same mantra everyday.

  • Martin Standage

    Will we ever know what he is going to discuss with Ionas Nicolaou,the Justice Minister, next tuesday either?Probably something like’ It would be really awkward for Nick now if his visit to Russia next weekend has to be ‘postponed’ or the much boasted new agreements with Russia are not finally signed because Vlad suddenly has more urgent business elsewhere??’?
    Actually,why is he REALLY going to Moscow anyway?To discuss the Cyprus problem with a country which does not want it to to be solved?

  • BritCyprus

    Russians. Still in control in Cyprus. Cypriots too afraid to challenge their paymasters

    • hornet

      better than the sick sultanate and its monkey enclave