Updated: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:20:24 GMT | By Agence France-Presse

Cyprus solution shouldn't harm Russian-EU ties: Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday charged that the bailout of Cyprus had been bungled and said the solution should not damage Russia's relations with the EU.

"It seems to me that every mistake possible in this situation has been made," Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency,

"I hope that in the end the solution adopted will be as thought through as possible and will at the same time aid Cyprus and not harm our relations with the EU," he added.

He said Cyprus would receive "particular attention" when the Russian government sits down Thursday in Moscow with the European Commission including chief Jose Manuel Barroso for regular EU-Russia consultations.

Medvedev reproached the EU for having kept Russia in the dark about its bailout talks with Cyprus, which resulted in a plan for 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in aid being tied to a levy on deposits in Cypriot banks, where Russian individuals and companies hold billions.

"Such negotiations and such decisions should have been discussed with the different parties concerned," said the prime minister.

"We have ... state interests there: our banks hold assets there as well as numerous Russian businessmen," he added.

Cypriot lawmakers rejected Tuesday the bank account levy, which would have taken up to 9.9 percent of holdings and threatened the island's status as an offshore financial centre.

Cypriot officials are now scrambling to find different ways to the 5.8 billion euros it must come up with to unlock the EU-IMF aid loans.

Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris was in Moscow to try to drum up additional help from Russia, which provided a 2.5 billion-euro loan in 2011.


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