Russia ready to extend Cypriot loan, cut interest, EU's Rehn says

BRUSSELS, March 16 Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:37pm EDT

BRUSSELS, March 16 (Reuters) - Russia's government is ready to ease the conditions of a 2.5 billion euro loan it made to Cyprus by extending the 5-year maturity beyond 2016 and by cutting the 4.5 percent interest, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

"My understanding is that the Russian government is ready to make a contribution with an extension of the loan and a reduction of the interest rate," Rehn said on Saturday.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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