Euro Crisis

Russian Account Holders May Sue Over Cyprus Account Seizures

Stealing people's money makes them angry

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Russian businesses and banks that face losses from the European Union's bailout of Cyprus are considering legal action but may have a hard time making a case, say lawyers who are combing through treaties find strategies to recover funds.

Big depositors—many of them Russian—face losses of up to 40 percent as the result of a so-called 'bail-in' to back 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in EU financial aid to stabilise the Cypriot banking system.

"It's worth trying, it's not going to be easy, its not going to be a one-off, 24-hour court case, but the nature of the action itself sounds like expropriation," said Andrey Goltsblat, managing partner at Moscow-based law firm Goltsblat BLP.

There could be a basis to sue either Cyprus or individual banks, say lawyers who have been contacted by current and prospective clients seeking redress.