Yesterday afternoon, Russia agreed to restructure Cyprus' EUR 2.5 billion loan terms to a much more affordable 2.5% semi-annual coupon through 2016 and a principal re-payment over the following four years. While probably still out of reach for the desparate economy, it was a positive step. Of course, this 'offer' by Russia has its quid pro quo. This morning, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stated that Cyprus territory will not be used to launch military strikes against Syria, as "Cyprus wants to live up to its responsibility as a shelter if needed for nationals of friendly countries who evacuate from Middle East". It would appear Obama's influence is fading everywhere...
Cyprus is located ~183 nautical miles west of Syria and is the EU member nearest to Syria.
Russia restructures Cyprus loan (via ITAR-TASS - ):
The Russian government has endorsed restructuring of the terms of the Russian loan to Cyprus, Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak told reporters Friday.
“The restructuring was endorsed at the last meeting of the Cabinet,” he said
Cyprus is to repay a EUR 2.5bn loan to Russia in eight semiannual installments starting in 2016, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak told reporters today, citing a revision of repayment terms approved at the latest cabinet meeting. The interest rate was lowered to 2.5% from 4.5%.
Russia extended the loan in 2011 for 4.5 years.
Cyprus UK Bases (via Bloomberg)
The U.K. has 2 sovereign bases on Cyprus; and despite its vote against a strike, the U.K. Ministry of Defence said today 6 RAF Typhoon interceptor fast jets deploying to British base at Akrotiri in Cyprus as precautionary measure "to protect British bases on island"
Cyprus Refugee Camp (via Bloomberg)
Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides says his country is prepared for any influx of foreign nationals in the event of military action against Syria, in comments to reporters in Nicosia today. Cyprus can accept up to 10,000 people daily on basis they remain for 48 hours before repatriation (Cyprus received more than 40,000 evacuees from Lebanon after 2 weeks fighting between Israeli forces and Hezbollah fighters in 2006).
Cyprus Refuses To Allow Strikes From Its Territory against Syria (via Bloomberg)
Cyprus assured its territory won’t be used to launch military strikes against Syria, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said, according to a transcript of his comments posted on govt’s press-office website
Kasoulides commented that "Cyprus wants to live up to its responsibility as a shelter if needed for nationals of friendly countries who evacuate from Middle East"
So, it would appear there is the 'quid' and the 'quo'... what next? US offers to build Cyprus casinos, Google 'Glass' for everyone, and the rights to "American Idol" for free?