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NICOSIA, September 23 (Itar-Tass) — The agreement for Russia to provide a preferential loan for Cyprus is not reached yet, but the sides are very close to the signing, the republic's President Dimitris Christofias told a press conference in New York.
The Cyprian leader explained why his country had appealed to Russia and why the loan would be provided at a rather low interest rate.
Any country faced with world economic crisis consequences tries to find ways to finance its development and avoid or overcome a crisis. Russia is a friendly country for Cyprus. The two countries have very good and traditionally close relations. Many financial organisations were asked for financing. However, in the continuing economic crisis and with the Cyprian banks' close ties with Greece, loans were offered at 12, 13 and even 14 percent rates. Only Russia offered a really great sum of 2.5 billion euros at the 4.5 percent rate. If the country's leaders consider themselves serious, they must conclude such an agreement, "We seek to conclude it, and we are very close to it," the president said.
According to Christofias, Russia is a country that has restored capitalism. Some like it, some do not like. In any case, the country is based on market economy. The ways to meet the financial needs have been found thanks to Russia, he noted.
On Thursday, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told reporters in Washington that the final agreement to provide a loan for the Republic of Cyprus was likely to be reached no earlier than the end of this year.