Russian Community in Cyprus
According to statistics in 2011, there are over 100,000 people of Russian origin living in Cyprus and this number has grown substantially. Limassol seems to be the area of choice followed by Larnaca and Paphos. A large part of this community migrated here in the late 1990’s and have been Cypriot residents since then. Limassol has three Russian schools and higher education centres boasting thousands of students. A Russian church has also been built in the Limassol area to accommodate the Russian community. This is the first Russian church on the island, which is run by the Orthodox Church of Cyprus, but delivers sermons in Russian. The Russian Commercial Bank (RCB) also has branches in Limassol, Nicosia and Paphos.
The Russian community is attracted to Cyprus by the climate and the welcoming Cypriot population. Cypriots have a natural cultural bond with the Russian community through the Christian Orthodox church. There are also major business incentives on offer that many Russians have taken advantage off, to the benefit of the Cypriot economy. The attractive tax regime of Cyprus is also a major draw for business ventures. Cyprus also offers excellent corporate infrastructure with modern telecommunications and professional services. As an EU member Cyprus offers direct links to the whole of Europe. Apart from the Russian residents, tourism on the island also benefits from thousands of tourists from Russia every year. The formalities on obtaining a visa to visit Cyprus have become easier and these are now available via email.
There are many ways to keep informed on social events happening within the Russian community. Social media and clubs abound and there is a plethora of activities for this community to enjoy. One of the websites that has proved to be very popular is InterNations Cyprus which is a forum for the Russian speaking community. You can take part in Excursions throughout the island or join different clubs with varying interests. Russian expats in Cyprus hail from areas like St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg and you will be able to connect with people from your home town through these social media sites. In many ways Cyprus has become a home away from home for many Russians. There are specialized Russian stores with products from Russia and many restaurants with Russian cuisine in Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. There is even a Russian cinema in Limassol which is frequented by the community and many concerts with famous Russian artists are held regularly.
Russian radio is also available through Russian Radio Logolf. The latest in Cypriot and International news and upcoming events are broadcast for the community with programs of interest from legal issues, tax laws and consumer protection to health issues and upcoming events all of particular interest for the Russian community in Cyprus.
The community also has its own newspaper Vestnik Kipra, which is published twice per month and is available at local Russian stores on the island. There is also the successful business magazine which is published quarterly which is delivered to over 1000 Russian CEO’s and directors in Cyprus. Business news is also available through www.vkcyprus.com and www.cyprusrussianbusiness.com
There is also a lot of information available through the Russian Embassy in Nicosia, details below.
Russian Embassy in Cyprus
P.O. Box 21845, 1514, Nicosia
Phone +357 22 774 622
Office Hours: 08.00 - 14.00 (Mon. - Fri.)
Below is part of the message the President of the republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades delivered at the 10th Cyprus-Russian Festival.
“It is my great pleasure to greet the 10th Cyprus-Russian Festival. Over the years the Festival has become an important institution and at the same time a great celebration that seals excellent and unbreakable relations between Cypriot and Russian people. The continued success of the Cyprus-Russian Festival in the best way confirms a will of both nations to express their gratitude for mutual support, endless friendship and mutual respect and I warmly congratulate the organizers who made it real. I would like to underline that the Cyprus-Russian Festival has become the main multinational and cultural event in our country. I want to express my sincere greetings to organizers and participants and emphasize the tireless efforts of the Government to further strengthen the relations between our two peoples and countries.’’
With such welcoming gestures, the perfect weather, beautiful views and everything else that Cyprus has to offer, it is not surprising that Cyprus has become home for thousands of Russians.