ECONOMY

Nicosia amends its loan request to Russia

Nicosia recently submitted an updated request to Moscow for a bilateral loan, the ruling party?s head revealed on Thursday, although later the finance minister said he was not aware of a new proposal.

AKEL General Secretary Markos Kyprianou told state radio CyBC that the government saw the difficulties Russia had in accepting the original request that President Dimitris Christofias had submitted in June and discussed with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.

The amended proposal is currently being discussed, Kyprianou added, saying there is the intention and the good will for the disbursement of the loan, but Russia?s own economic problems also have to be taken into account.

The ruling party?s leader explained that during his recent visit to Moscow he discussed the adjusted loan request with the Speaker of the Duma (the Russian parliament), the secretary general of the Russian communist party and the country?s deputy foreign minister, all of whom assured Kyprianou they would push for the disbursement of the loan.

However a few hours later Cypriot Finance Minister Vasos Sharly told CyBC that he was not aware of new proposal to Moscow for a loan and that party leaders might have other information.

Kyprianou later said that the essence of the proposal remains the same, but the President is trying to achieve the best possible result. On Thursday Duma representatives actually visited the President?s Mansion in Nicosia.

Meanwhile German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble stated on Thursday that negotiations on a Cypriot bailout will take place in earnest next year, although Nicosia is known to be desperate for cash as early as next month.

Sharly expressed his surprise at the statement and said that maybe Schaeuble had meant something else, perhaps that the process may continue into January.

Sharly added that he expects the Cypriot economy to be discussed at the Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers on November 12 and that the representatives of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — known as the troika will be back in Nicosia as early as on Monday for talks to restart.