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Govt and Opposition parties clash in ‘unnecessary, wild and bizarre’ row

The Ukrainian flag flies over No.6 Convent Place.

The Gibraltar Government and the opposition parties clashed yesterday in a row sparked by the Ukraine crisis and the worldwide crackdown on Russian business.

Together Gibraltar had earlier called for MPs to be transparent on any financial or professional relationships with Russian clients.

The Government dismissed any suggestion of involvement with “Putin’s oligarchy”, and hit back calling for similar transparency from opposition MPs.

In doing so, the Government sought to highlight statements made by Ms Hassan Nahon in a 2017 interview in which she spoke about her time working for a private US bank, during which she witnessed “fascinating” movements of “money and arms” between different countries.

The government said the TG leader should add detail to the nature of those deals, but Ms Hassan Nahon dismissed the retort from No.6 Convent Place.

“In case it isn't obvious, as an MP with exclusive dedication to politics and no other professional or business links I can categorically state that I have no business relationships with any Russians,” Ms Marlene Hassan Nahon said.

In a rapid tit-for-tat exchange, the Government insisted this was a deviation from Ms Hassan Nahon’s statements to Gibraltar Magazine in January 2017.

And responding to Ms Hassan Nahon’s calls for transparency on any Ukraine-linked sanctions, the Government said the TG leader had failed to find the relevant sanctions lists applicable in Gibraltar, despite the Chief Minister having specifically referred to them in an interview with GBC.

“These have been electronically published and are continually updated,” the Government said.

Watching from the sidelines, the GSD called the clash unnecessary, wild and bizarre.

“The Government press release denying a relationship with Putin’s regime, raising issues about ‘arms deals’ by the TG leader and asking Opposition MPs to clarify if they have any relationships with Putin and his cronies is as bizarre in its tone as it is wild,” the GSD said.

“GSD MPs are entirely aware of their legal and professional obligations and will abide by the same.”

The party added GSD MPs do not have relationships with Putin’s regime or sanctioned individuals.

“Instead of raising such questions and needlessly pointing fingers at the GSD Opposition Mr Picardo should concentrate on the many domestic issues that require attention in Gibraltar,” the GSD said.

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