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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Confusion over path of Russian loan ]

Confusion over path of Russian loan

Stefanos Evripidou

THE GOVERNMENT is completely in the dark about the prospects of securing a Russian loan, it transpired yesterday. 

According to daily Alithia, a “very reliable source” told the paper that the government has received “absolutely no signal” from Moscow about whether the request for the loan will be approved or not. So far, the government has had to assess its chances of securing the loan based on public statements made by Russian officials to the media.

Right now, the omens look slightly better than worse if one looks at the latest comments to come out of Russia. 

On Monday, Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said any loan from his country to Cyprus would be intended for the recapitalisation of its banks and not as financial help towards the EU.

Chizhov was quoted in the Russian media as saying that the aim was to help the island’s banks, which he said had unwittingly fallen victim to Cyprus’ close relations with the Greek banking system.

If talks end with an agreement, he added, it will be a bilateral agreement, which will have no relation with the country support programme implemented by the so-called troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund).

Alithia quoted the source saying of Chizhov’s statement: “There is absolutely no other signal.”

The same source said Cyprus has gone from hearing Russian officials claiming Cyprus has not even submitted a request for a loan, to intimating they would give the loan.

According to Russian officials, Cyprus has requested a €5 billion loan to complement last year’s €2.5 billion Russian loan given to Cyprus in instalments. 

“That’s what we have at the moment. Whatever you know, we know. Cyprus has made a request to Moscow and we wait,” said the source.

The state broadcaster, CyBC’s correspondent in Moscow, meanwhile, maintained the approval of the Russian loan was “a matter of hours”. 

Regarding a separate bilateral loan request to China, Alithia quoted the same source saying the situation was much worse with the matter having completely frozen. Cyprus has not heard a beep from Beijing on the matter.  

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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