NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' president says Russia is ready to contribute to a rescue package that the country needs to stay afloat.
Dimitris Christofias says Wednesday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin assured him of Moscow's readiness to "extend a helping hand" to Cyprus in a telephone conversation the previous day.
Christofias didn't specify how much Russia would offer, but said this help could "save" the country.
Cyprus is trying to finalize a bailout from its euro partners of as much as €17 billion ($22.8 billion) — roughly equal to its annual gross domestic product — to prop up its ailing banks and flagging economy.
Cyprus received a €2.5 billion loan from Russia in 2011 and sought another €5 billion from Moscow last year without result.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.