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Originally published Monday, March 18, 2013 at 2:13 AM

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Spokesman: Putin says Cyprus plan unjust

The spokesman for Vladimir Putin says the Russian president is strongly critical of a plan to levy a tax on depositors in Cyprus.

The Associated Press

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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 percent.

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.

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