Cypriot Church asked to help with loan extension

The leader of Cyprus’s Orthodox Christian Church says the nation’s cash-strapped government has asked him for help to persuade Russian authorities to agree to extend repayment of a 2.5-billion-euro loan.

Archbishop Chrysostomos II says he has asked fellow Orthodox Russian Patriarch Kirill to plead with the Kremlin to grant Cyprus an extension. Chrysostomos said on Thursday he believes the effort will succeed.

Russia loaned Cyprus the money in 2011, when the latter could no longer borrow from international markets. Cyprus is supposed to pay the loan back by 2016, but it has officially asked for a five-year extension. [AP]

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