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Cypriot government’s proposals had failed to evoke interest in Moscow

March 22, 2013, 13:16 UTC+3

Cypriot Economics Minister leaves Moscow, statements to be made at home

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MOSCOW, March 22 (Itar-Tass) – Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris has left Moscow upon winding up a visit to Russia but all the statements will be made upon his arrival back home, a spokesman for the Cypriot embassy in Moscow told Itar-Tass.

Nonetheless, Sarris told the Athens-based news agency AMNA shortly before departure from Russia he had not made any requests to Moscow for a new loan. Instead, he made proposals for the Russian companies to invest in Cypriot companies or securities in exchange for future revenues from production of natural gas in the fields discovered in recent years.

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on his part that the Cypriot government’s proposals had failed to evoke interest in Moscow.

“We had the last round of talks yesterday. The talks have ended,” he said. “Their proposals were to set up a state company with the transfer of assets of gas fields and to offer Russian investors to join, purchase bonds that will be changed over into shares later. Our investors looked into that and did not show interest,” Siluanov said.

Speaking about the investment fund Cyprus planned to set up, he explained that “they wanted to contribute to that fund stakes of that company, some banks as well as other assets they could offer for exchange”.

“They also offered us to acquire shares in these banks. But none of our commercial credit organizations has been impressed by this offer,” he added.

“The issue of a state loan was not considered, as the European side has fixed the upper limit of the debt that they must not exceed, while granting a loan means to exceed that threshold,” the minister stressed.

“We are waiting for a decision of the EU Troika, and proceeding from it we will react, making a decision on our participation in debt restructuring,” Siluanov added.

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