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Putin Criticizes Cyprus Banks for Levy on Russian Depositors

April 5, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized in a German TV interview Friday the 60-per-cent losses that big Russian investors suffered on bank deposits in Cyprus under last week's bailout.

"There's a loss of trust in the banking system of the eurozone when confiscation from depositors happens, from Russian investors in Cyprus or in other nations," he told ARD television in the interview.

The investors had not been breaking any Cypriot or European laws, he said. "And suddenly they are getting hit, their deposits, at a rate of 60 per cent. Is that fair? They hadn't done anything wrong."

A transcript was issued on the ARD website hours before the interview was aired. Putin is to visit the German city of Hanover on Sunday night to attend the inauguration of an industrial fair and is to tour the fair booths with Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday morning.

Putin said he continued to support the euro, the currency in which Russia holds 40 per cent of its foreign reserves.

"We trust in the euro, we trust in the economic policies of the main European powers and the economic policy of the leadership of Germany," he said. "We disagree on many issues, but on the fundamental issues we think the right thing is being done."

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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