Cyprus is continuing talks with the Russian government to relax the terms of a 2.5 billion euro loan, the country’s finance minister told CNBC on Monday ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers who are expected to approve a first bailout payment to the country.
The loan was granted to Cyprus in 2011, but Russia refused to offer the island further financial assistance in late March. Cyprus secured a deal with its euro zone peers and the International Monetary Fund instead, but was forced to inflict losses on uninsured depositors as part of the rescue. Many large-scale foreign investors in Cyprus were believed to be Russian.
Georgiades, who replaced Michalis Sarris as finance minister last month after just five weeks in office said the Russian government had been very positive in discussions, and said the Cypriot government was determined to “do the job.”
“We have been in talks with Russian government – we are very grateful (to the) Russian government for offering this loan in the first place. How well we have handled that opportunity is a different story,” he said. “We are once again asking for the support of the Russian government in relaxing the terms of the loan,” he added.