By MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — For Cypriots, it was a collective “here we go again” moment: In April, the U.S. and the U.K. included a handful of Cypriot nationals and Cyprus-registered companies on a list of “enablers” helping Russian oligarchs skirt sanctions. It was an unwelcome reminder of the lingering perception that the island nation somehow remains Moscow’s financial lackey. For years, authorities in this tiny European Union member country have tried to shake the reputation they gained from a 2013 financial crisis and a defunct investment-for-citizenship program. The crackdown targeting a “sanctions evasion network” in 20 countries supporting Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov and others sent the Cypriot government scrambling to offer assurances that the country is now firmly on the straight and narrow.