Moscow's mixed messages over Cyprus

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Moscow's mixed messages over Cyprus

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After rejecting desperate pleas from Cyprus last week, President Vladimir Putin finally agreed to ease the terms of a 2.5 billion euros loan from Moscow.

The move comes after all-night talks in Brussels led to a new EU-IMF loan of 10 billion euros to the island nation.

Wealthy Russians are feeling the pinch under the new bailout deal. The rescue terms are particularly painful for depositors with over 100,000 euros in Cypriot banks. Most of the 19 billion euros from non-EU savers are thought to be Russian.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was scathing in his condemnation of the new agreement.

“It looks like the stealing of what has already been stolen continues. So we have to figure out what this whole story will turn into in the end and what the consequences will be for the international financial and foreign exchange systems.”

Spooked Russian investors are already looking elsewhere to invest their cash.