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Russian firms crippled by Cyprus crisis

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 01:35

April 18 - One of Russia's best start-ups is staring into financial abyss as all its money is frozen in Cyprus. But as Hayley Platt reports not everyone's complaining - Russian banks are seeing a boost as depositors withdraw their cash from the tiny euro zone country.

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Stanislav Sazhin runs "Doctors at Work", a Moscow-based start-up. His business enables medical professionals to publish their research articles for free. It's won awards but is facing closure thanks to the crisis in Cyprus where most of its assets have been frozen. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF START UP SOCIAL NETWORK FOR DOCTORS STANISLAV SAZHIN, SAYING: "About one million dollars of our money is blocked in accounts in Cyprus." More than 30 billion dollars of Russian money is believed to be held in Cypriot accounts. Huge amounts of Russian capital used to flow in and out of tiny country. Favourable tax laws were just one of the attractions. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) HEAD OF START UP SOCIAL NETWORK FOR DOCTORS STANISLAV SAZHIN, SAYING: "Cyprus is attractive for Russian companies not because of its banks' profitable interest rates and warm climate but because Cyprus practices English law. English law is the main protector for both start-ups and investors." But Cyprus's loss could also be Russia's gain. Moscow's Sberbank has been hosting a conference to entice Russian investors back home. Anton Karamzin is its deputy Chairman. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SBERBANK DEPUTY CHAIRMAN ANTON KARAMZIN, SAYING: "It will be naive to say that the Russian economy and the Russian real sector will not suffer anything at all. But equally so I don't think that it will have much of a significant impact on the banking sector as it can be seen now." The same can't be said for Cyprus or Stanislav's start up. Both are hoping for a swift solution to Cyprus's banking crisis.

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Russian firms crippled by Cyprus crisis

Thursday, April 18, 2013 - 01:35