Russia makes Cyprus nervous as talks fail
Russia's negotiations with Cyprus that found itself on the brink of financial disaster and angered Moscow with the recently rejected idea of the removal of a part of bank deposits from the island, ended inconclusively. Moscow did not show interest to the offer of the Cyprus delegation, which had hoped for Russia's help in the critical situation. Moscow will not give Cyprus any money if the latter does not cancel the ban on the movement of bank capitals, which the Cypriot Central Bank reintroduced on Wednesday, observers say.
"Yesterday, we conducted the last round of talks with the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus. The talks have ended," said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. "Their suggestions were: to create a state-owned company with the transfer of assets of gas fields and offer Russian investors enter, buy bond with a subsequent participation in shares. Our investors considered the issue, but they did not show interest."
Speaking of the investment fund, which the Cypriots planned to build, the minister explained that "in this investment fund they wanted to transfer the shares of companies, banks and other assets that they could offer for the realization," reports "Interfax". "They offered us to enter those banks. But none of our commercial organizations had such a wish, ," said Siluanov.
"The issue of state credit was not considered, because the European side set the debt limit, beyond which they could not go. Giving a loan means that one should go beyond this limit. We are waiting for the decision of the Group of Three, and then we will see how we should act further regarding our participation in the restructuring of the debt, the minister said.
Gazprom and Rosneft showed no interest in the offer, which Cyprus made to Russia, ITAR-TASS news agency quoted a source in the Ministry for Energy." So far, there are no results," officials said after the talks, referring to the issue of the disputed territory with Turkey.
"The Cypriots offered to participate in the tender for the field, where the seismic research had not been completed. It is unclear what kind of the field it is - one should study it in depth in the future. Gazprom and Rosneft were not interested in these proposals," he concluded.
Turkish authorities earlier said they would challenge any action of Cyprus to study natural gas fields in its territorial waters in order to attract investment and rescue its economy.
A source in the government of Turkey said: "This resource belongs to two communities and the future of this resource can not be a subject of personal solutions made in southern Cyprus. We can act against such initiatives when necessary ... The exclusive use of that resource by South Cyprus is out of the question ... It's unacceptable," an official said.
Gas deposits in the Cyprus shelf are the largest deposits that have been discovered during the last ten years. Its reserves are estimated at 1.7 trillion cubic meters, and the net profit of their operation could be more than 800 billion euros.
As long as the ban on the movement of bank capital, which the Cypriot Central Bank introduced again on Wednesday, remains in effect, Moscow will not dip into its pocket, the French newspaper Le Monde wrote. Despite the size of Russian capitals in Cyprus, Moscow, as it appears, is in no hurry to help Cyprus.
The fact that Cyprus adopted the European bailout plan without notifying its Russian partners, has caused great discontent in the Kremlin. The idea of raising taxes to 9.9% on bank deposits larger than 100 thousand euros, affected primarily the interests of Russian depositors in Cyprus. That is why the Russian authorities have reacted angrily to the plan from the Eurogroup.