ATHENS, January 26 (RIA Novosti)
Cyprus has received the second 1.32 billion euro tranche of a 2.5 billion euro loan pledged by Russia, the Cypriot Finance Ministry said on Thursday.
Cyprus Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias and Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak signed an agreement on Russia's 2.5 billion euro loan last December. Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said last October that the loan for four and a half years might be granted at an interest rate of 4.5 percent.
The first 590 million euro tranche was transferred in late December 2011, while the third and the last tranche of 590 million euros will be received by Cyprus in March 2012, the ministry said in a statement obtained by RIA Novosti.
Debt problems in neighboring Greece have posed challenges for Cyprus' economy. Kazamias said last October that the country would not ask the European Union for financial support despite calls from some Cypriot politicians to request assistance.
The International Monetary Fund asked the Cypriot government in November 2011 to work out measures for fiscal consolidation and stability of the country's banking system.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.