Russia, Cyprus close to loan agreement

Moscow and Nicosia are close to signing an agreement on a Russian loan to Cyprus, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said on Monday.

Cyprus state debt hiked and economic growth slowed down amid the debt crisis in neighboring Greece. It was earlier announced that Cyprus is in talks about a loan of 2-2.5 billion euro ($2.7-3.4 billion) with a five-year maturity and an annual interest rate of 4.5%.

“We have almost reached [an agreement]… We are now conducting formal procedures,” Kudrin said, without specifying the sum of the loan.

Cyprus Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias earlier said the country’s authorities have no plans to seek aid from the European Union.

Fitch Ratings cut Cyprus’s sovereign rating to A- from AA- in late May, saying it was concerned at the high level of exposure its banks had to Greek debt.

Two months later, Moody’s cut Cyprus’s credit rating by two notches from A2 to Baa1 and warned further downgrade was possible.

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