Cypriot Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said he’s confident a 2.5 billion-euro ($3.4 billion) loan from Russia due in 2016 will be extended soon.
“We have every reason to believe Russia will respond favorably,” Shiarly told reporters in The Hague today after making his case for a bailout of Cyprus to Dutch lawmakers. “I believe soon, but it is not up to us. It should be extended; it’s in everyone’s interest.”
After the Cypriot economy’s exposure to Greece hampered the eastern Mediterranean island’s ability to get funding, “Russia was the only country willing to lend to us,” Shiarly said.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said Wednesday that Russia was prepared to contribute to a bailout of Cyprus in cooperation with the European Union. He said Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him in a telephone conversation that Russia was prepared to participate in loans to Cyprus. [Bloomberg]