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NICOSIA, September 5 (Itar-Tass) —— The Cypriot authorities have not confirmed media reports claiming that Russia agrees to grant a loan of 5 billion euros to the republic. Cypriot Finance Minister Vasos Shiarly said he had no information about the Russian response to the request made last month.
The newspaper Politis said the Russian authorities decided several days ago to grant the request of the republic, which found itself in trouble due to the debt problems of Greece – a close partner of Cypriot banks. Hence the Cypriot government asked EU partners for assistance in late June. It also asked financial assistance from Russia and China. Negotiations with the Troika (the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund) are still in progress. A memorandum with the creditors may be signed in the second half of September. Shiarly also said that the request for a Russian loan did not impede the negotiations with the Troika. Politis also said that the Russian loan would be granted to Nicosia after consultations with the International Monetary Fund.
Late last year Russia lent 2.5 billion rubles to Cyprus for the period of 4.5 years with a 4.5% interest. Some say Cyprus will need from 10 to 15 billion euros to resolve its economic problems.