Russia Hasn’t Agreed to Extend Loan to Cyprus

ISTANBUL, May 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said an announcement by a Cypriot minister that the reconstruction of the island nation’s 2.5 billion euro loan from Russia had been agreed was premature.

On Friday, Cyprus’s foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that Russia had agreed to extend the terms of its loan to the debt-stricken nation.

“Requests for an extension were received, and we promised that the request would be dealt with. If anyone wants to draw the conclusion from that promise that a deal has already been signed, let them do so,” Storchak told journalists on the sidelines of the annual congress of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The deputy finance minister said that no documents for changing the terms of the agreement had yet been drawn up, and noted that under Russian law, changes to the terms of the loan would have to be ratified by parliament, which is a lengthy process.

Russia lent Cyprus 2.5 billion euros in late 2011 for five years, with an annual interest rate of 4.5 percent. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Moscow would restructure the debt, without giving details of the restructuring.


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