Boris Berezovsky, a controversial Russian businessman who is wanted in his home country on charges of fraud, claimed to Sky’s Jeff Randall in an interview yesterday that Moscow is using Iceland to launder “dirty money” before investing in other countries.
Icelandic money. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
“You remember three months ago the Russian government declared that they would help Iceland,” Berezovsky said.
In October last year, in the wake of the crisis, news circulated that Iceland had been granted a giant loan from Russia to help save the economy. The news was premature, as it turned out, and although a loan from Russia is not off the table, it hasn’t been granted yet.
Berezovsky stated that since Iceland is not a member of the European Union, it is vulnerable to money-laundering, RÚV reports.
“Their trick is very simple because Russian, let’s say top level bureaucrats like Putin, like others, oligarchs together created a system how to operate on the West,” he said in the interview.
Iceland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a statement to Sky on the matter, which was published on the program, firmly denying Berezovsky’s accusations.
The statement explained that the same financial regulations apply to Iceland as the EU member countries (Iceland is a member of the EEA), also pointing out that Iceland and Russia haven’t reached an agreement on a loan.