Russia to the Rescue? Why Moscow May Bail Out Cyprus

Suddenly, Russia has become a central player in the Cypriot financial crisis. On the very evening after the Cypriot parliament rejected a proposed levy on bank deposits that the Cypriot president had previously accepted as a condition for a bailout package of €10 billion, Finance Minister Michael Sarris flew from Nicosia to Moscow. The next day, March 20, he met with Russia’s Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov. Their discussions were described as fruitful but only introductory. Also Cyprus Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis flew to Moscow, and so have representatives for Cyprus’s crisis-ridden Popular Bank. Is it realistic for Russia to bail out Cyprus? Why and how would it do so? There are actually many reasons why Russia may assist Cyprus.

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