Monday, March 18, 2013

On cue...

...the Russians respond.  This may all be rumor, but there is no question as to the strategic opportunities this presents for Russia...especially given the veneer of respectability Cypriot banks has provided Russian depositors over the years.  It also serves to weaken the status of the EU if it cannot properly take care of its own.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has offered the Republic of Cyprus a plan in which the company will undertake the restructuring of the country’s banks in exchange for exploration rights for natural gas in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, local media reported.

Representatives of the Russian company submitted the proposal to the office of Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday evening, Sigma TV reported.

The proposal states that Gazprom will fund the restructuring of the country’s crippled financial institutions in exchange for substantial control over the country’s gas resources while Cyprus won’t need to take the harsh bailout package offered by the EU.

EU offered a 10 billion euros rescue package to Cyprus with the condition of raising 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) by taking a piece of every bank account in Cyprus. The originally proposed levies on deposits are 9.9 percent for acounts exceeding 100,000 euros and 6.7 percent on anything below that.

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