BRUSSELS, March 16 (Itar-Tass) – The European Union expects Russia to participate in the efforts to save Cyprus from default by easing the terms for the previous loans, rather than providing new loans, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn said after the 12-hour meeting of the Eurogroup.
They had a number of contacts with Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, he said. As he understands Russia may extend the period to repay its loan for Cyprus and lower the interest rate. He noted he could not say on behalf of the Russian government, but as far as he knew the issue of new loans was not raised.
It is unlikely to be a major contribution, but it will also help, Eurogroup Chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in his turn.
Negotiations are underway for easing the terms for repayment of the earlier Russian loans, which will allow Cyprus to have additional funds for financial stabilization, he explained. The negotiations are continuing, and the results will be known soon, he said. There were no talks with the Russian side that day, but there were a number of positive consultations in recent days, he noted.
Cyprus's Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will arrive in Moscow early next week to discuss possibilities for Russia to provide additional support for Cyprus. For the present, Russia is expected to extend the period for Nicosia to repay the 2.5-bln-euro loan provided in 2011 for five years and maybe to lower its interest rate.