No Russian aid to Greek Cyprus yet

No Russian aid to Greek Cyprus yet

NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said yesterday that Greek Cyprus is keeping up efforts to secure a five billion euro ($6.25 billion) loan from Russia for its ailing economy but that no decision has yet been taken.

Shiarly told state radio there was “no new development” on the Russian loan after Politis newspaper reported on its front page that Moscow had approved the loan and a formal announcement was imminent.

He was not in a position to confirm the report but the finance ministry was providing information and data required by Moscow, Shiarly said. A Russian finance ministry spokesman, meanwhile, told the Greek Cyprus News Agency that no final decision had been taken.

“The negotiations are continuing. The Russian government is negotiating with Cyprus and the loan has not yet been agreed,” said the unnamed official, adding that the process had “yet to be completed.”

Greek Cyprus cannot raise the money on international debt markets because of its junk status credit rating. It already has secured a low-interest, 2.5 billion euro loan from staunch ally Russia to meet its financing needs for the year, and is holding out for a fresh five billion euro loan from Moscow to soften the bailout impact. 

Nicosia sought the EU bailout in June after its two largest Greek-exposed banks failed to meet recapitalization requirements.