Mon, Apr 01, 2013 - Page 6 News List

ANALYSIS: Russia tones down anger over Cyprus — but why?

CHANGE OF HEART:Putin was breathing fire over the country’s first bailout deal, but he has not made any criticism over the current one, which raises questions

AFP, MOSCOW

When Putin started breathing fire over the first bailout plans, some analysts suggested that the Kremlin had ulterior motives and was eyeing bailing out Cyprus on its own in exchange for strategic interests. These could include a Mediterranean naval base — Russia risks losing its Tartus base in Syria if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime falls — and a share in Cyprus’ so far unexploited offshore gas reserves.

In the end though, all Nicosia got from Moscow was the possible restructuring of a loan that had looked ripe for restructuring before the current crisis even started.

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