NICOSIA, July 14 (Itar-Tass) —— Cyprus is looking forward to Russia’s “positive or negative reply” to its request for an early loan, government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said on Friday.
Stefanou told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers that a quick reply was crucial to making a decision regarding further action in the context of the grave financial situation in the country. Stefanou said there had been no fresh news from Russia regarding the loan request. He recalled that there was no specific deadline for a decision in favor of or against the loan.
“However, we would like to have this subject closed as soon as possible,” Stefanou said.
Russian Finance Minster Anton Silunov on July 6 said Cyprus had asked Russia for five billion euros.
“We have received the request and we are in the process of considering it,” he told the media. This is a second loan Cyprus has asked for in less than one year. Late last year Russia already lent Cyprus 2.5 billion euros to refinance its debt liabilities this year.
Simultaneously the government of Cyprus asked its European Union partners to extend financial assistance for the recapitalization of its banks. Experts from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have already begun to analyze the situation in the banking sector and the condition of the state budget in order to draft proposals regarding the possible amount of financial assistance from the Euro Group.
Stefanou said that the activity of the troika and the inter-governmental loan agreement with Russia were parallel processes.
The government spokesman dismissed the speculations Cyprus might suspend due payments.
“Our financial liabilities have been honored and will be honored,” Stefanou said.” We have a solution of these problems.”
The government notified the parliament’s finance committee last Monday that at least 250 million euros had to be obtained by August 15 to cover the financial needs. Another 250 million will be needed by the end of next month. The authorities have turned for loans to enterprises and organizations in which the state is the main shareholder, such as the largest telecommunications company CyTA, the Cyprus Ports Authority and the Human Resources Development Authority.