A proposal by the European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank to impose a one-off tax of up to 15 percent on depositors' accounts in Cypriot banks, as a condition for a $10 billion bailout  of Cyprus, could hit Russian account holders hard, with some experts forecasting that the tax could result in losses of more than $3 billion for Russian companies and individuals. 

The proposal has been rejected by the Cypriot parliament as hitting small local depositors and Russian investors alike, threatening Cyprus's position as an offshore tax haven and the island country's economy. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has attacked the European tax plan as "unfair, unprofessional and dangerous," while Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has compared it to Soviet-era confiscation of private property.

Cypriot government officials are in talks with their Russian counterparts about possible help from Russia to rescue the country's economy from bankruptcy.

Like us on Facebook