“A Black Hole” – Russia Accused of Money Laundering in Cyprus – Full Story

A diplomatic showdown exploded this week as allegations of Russian money laundering in Cyprus ignite a furious dispute. 

Is Cyprus Aiding Russia?

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British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Irfan Siddiq, has made explosive claims that Russia is funneling “black money” into the breakaway northern region of the island, inciting a sharp rebuke from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Turkish Talks Affected

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Adding fuel to the fire, Siddiq’s statements have not only ruffled feathers on the island but also stirred potential ramifications in international politics, including discussions with the Turkish President and UN talks concerning Cyprus. 

Where Is The Proof?

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The President of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, who will be attending meetings at the UN in New York, vehemently refuted Siddiq’s allegations and demanded proof.

Prejudice Abound

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Tatar emphasized, “The allegations are completely untrue and it is just another example of [Siddiq’s] extraordinary bias to the Greek Cypriots.” 

Disappointed but Not Surprised

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“I really do not understand why this man is so prejudiced against us. It is very disappointing,” Tatar continues

Bias Called Out

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The rift takes on a more profound dimension, considering that the UK, a guarantor power, is expected to listen to both sides in the Cyprus conflict but is now accused of partiality.

Claims Continue

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The contentious claims made by Siddiq revolve around money laundering activities.

He alleged that Cyprus has reached an insincere consensus in enforcing sanctions against Russia to restore its reputation. 

Is The Turkish North The Problem?

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However, he accused the Turkish-occupied north of the island of being a “money laundering black spot,” sparking outrage.

Foreign Office Speaks Out

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While the Foreign Office contradicted some aspects of the news report, Siddiq’s central assertion, identifying Northern Cyprus as a potential Russian money laundering hub remains intact.

FCDO Source Explains Misquote

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According to an FCDO source, while Siddiq did emphasize “illicit finance in the ‘TRNC'” and he actually described it as a “black hole” not a black spot.” 

More Misquotes

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The FCDO source also denies that he said “the shady financial practices in the RoC had been cleaned up.”

Siddiq’s Pattern of Controversy

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This isn’t the first time Siddiq has stirred controversy; earlier, he incurred the wrath of Turkish Cypriots by suggesting they had lost their rights following Turkey’s intervention in 1974. 

Nationalists Seeking Reunion

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The island of Cyprus has remained divided since 1974, following a Turkish military intervention prompted by a coup attempt by Greek nationalists seeking to unite the island with Greece. 

Turkey Denies Independence

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The TRNC declared independence in 1983, a move unrecognized by the UK and most of the international community, except for Turkey.

No End In Sight

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Despite multiple attempts, a lasting solution to the Cyprus conflict has remained elusive, with the last significant effort, proposed by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2004, accepted by the TRNC but rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

Britain Can’t Stay Out of the Spotlight

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As a guarantor power for Cyprus due to its historical colonial role and continued ownership of military bases on the island, Britain now finds itself at the center of a heated dispute that could have far-reaching diplomatic consequences. 

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The post “A Black Hole” – Russia Accused of Money Laundering in Cyprus – Full Story first appeared on Back Edge News.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock /Luca Perra . The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

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