MOSCOW - The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says the Russian president is strongly critical of a plan to levy a tax on depositors in Cyprus.
Russian companies have an estimated $19 billion in Cypriot bank accounts. Russians have for years seen Cyprus as an investor-friendly jurisdiction with lax banking regulations and low taxes.
A proposed bailout of Cyprus's economy would impose taxes on bank deposits of up to 9.9 per cent.
Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the president criticized the plan in a meeting with economic advisers.
"Putin said such a decision, if taken, would be unjust, unprofessional and dangerous," Peskov said, according to Russian news agencies.