BRUSSELS, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia might join solution of problems linked with Cyprus’ financial problems, if it has a consent from the European Union, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
“Cyprus is a member country of the European Union and we proceed from the fact that the European partners must agree certain rules to regulate relations inside the European Union, so it is not right of us to meddle with this process,” he said at a news conference after the Russia-European Union summit. “But in a situation when such agreements are reached, we do not rule out a possibility to join the process of solving problems linked with the stabilization of the situation in Cyprus.”
According to the Russian leader, the Russian ministry of finance is aware of this problem. “We are in contact with the Cypriots. We are discussing these issues,” he noted. “Sure, Russia’s economy is now in a good financial, economic and marcoeconomic state. We have an economic growth of 3.7 percent, our reserves are growing.”
Russia “does have money,” Putin stressed. “Our gold and currency reserves exceed 500 billion, the government has a reserve of 150 billion. It is not the money that matters. The problem is in the terms and in systemic measures,” he pointed and added that the issue of financial aid to Cyprus required an expert examination.
Meanwhile, European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, said after the summit that the issue of Russia’s anti-crisis assistance to Cyprus had not been raised at the summit. According to Barroso, Cyprus’ problems are being discussed with Nicosia, with countries of the eurozone, with the European Central Banks, and with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but not with Russia. At the same time, he admitted he was aware that the subject was present in relations between Russia and Cyprus and it was up to these two countries to decide anything on that problem.
According to European experts, more than ten billion euro might be needed to stabilize Cyprus’ financial system that was seriously hurt in the recent financial crisis in Greece and the eurozone.