PUTIN: Cyprus Bank Levy Is 'Unjust, Unprofessional, And Dangerous'

MOSCOW (AP) — The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says the Russian president is strongly critical of a plan to levy a tax on depositors in Cyprus.

Russian companies have an estimated $19 billion in Cypriot bank accounts. Russians have for years seen Cyprus as an investor-friendly jurisdiction with lax banking regulations and low taxes.

A proposed bailout of Cyprus’s economy would impose taxes on bank deposits of up to 9.9 per cent.

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president criticised the plan in a meeting with economic advisers.

Putin was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying that the decision, if taken, would “unjust, unprofessional and dangerous.”

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