Cyprus looks to Russia for help

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Cyprus looks to Russia for help

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The Cypriot finance minister has gone to Moscow to ask the Russians for help to get through the current financial crisis.

Michael Sarris reported there had been a ‘good beginning’ to talks, though nothing concrete had emerged.

Russia is closely involved with financial events on the island.

It has loaned Cyprus 2.5 billion euros, due for repayment in 2016.

Sarris is asking his Russian counterpart Anton Siluanov to give them five more years before it is due, and to reduce the 4.5 per cent interest rate.

But that’s not the end of Moscow’s interest. Vast amounts of Russian money have flowed in since Cyprus became a major provider of offshore financial services.

The non-EU holdings are one reason put forward for why the eurozone has demanded the unprecedented levy on deposits.