Support The Moscow Times!

Minister Says Cyprus Bailout Must Be Coordinated

Russia said Friday that it would grant a bailout to Cyprus  only as part of a coordinated rescue with the European Union. Cyprus is reportedly seeking 20 billion euros ($25.7 billion) in aid.

Finance Minister Anton Siluanov  said Russia was considering a request for a 5 billion euro loan and added that Cyprus  was seeking a further 15 billion euros from the EU.

Siluanov's comments seemed to indicate an attempt to prevent Cyprus, a popular offshore haven for Russian businesses seeking protection from their country's unpredictable investment climate, from playing Moscow off against Brussels to secure more favorable borrowing terms.

"If we give this credit for 5 billion euros, they still will have to borrow from somewhere else," Siluanov said. "Therefore, the decision needs to be coordinated, because our 5 billion is not enough for them; [the EU's] 15 billion, in principle, is sufficient."

Siluanov said that the main factor influencing Moscow's decision on the loan is whether Cyprus can service the loan and eventually repay it.

He also said five other European countries had asked Moscow for financial help, roughly matching the number of countries that sought aid from Russia during the 2008-2009 crisis.

"These are not large [countries]," Siluanov said, declining to name any of them.

Related articles:

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.