Euro Crisis

Russian Account Holders May Sue Over Cyprus Account Seizures

Stealing people's money makes them angry


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.