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Cyprus weighing alternative funding plans

FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has been engaged in discussions with his Russian counterpart in Moscow throughout Wednesday, trying to reach a new funding deal. After talks with both Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, media outlets report an agreement is still far.

While Sarris said he intends to stay in Russia until an agreement can be struck, sources close to the negotiations note that neither Russian lenders VTB and Gazprombank are really interested to take control over Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki).

As of now, there has been some talk about the Cyprus President Anastasiades presenting a "plan B" to political leaders on Thursday, or shall we say "plan C"? Remember the Russian aid intend was initially called the "plan B."

As Greek newspaper Ekathimerini notes: "Among the options being discussed are making use of about 5 billion euros in reserves held by Cyprus’s social security funds and a voluntary swap involving bank deposits and bonds indexed to the island’s natural gas revenues. The island’s Orthodox Church said it is willing to put its assets, including land, at the disposal of the state."

Ekathimerini adds: "The entire wealth of the Church is at the disposal of the country ... so that we can stand on our own two feet and not on those of foreigners," Archbishop Chrysostomos said after meeting Anastasiades early on Wednesday.

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