Russia Aid Not Looking Likely for Cyprus: Eurogroup Chief
The Dutch finance minister and new head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, told CNBC that he was confident an agreement could be found over Cyprus, but Russia might not be the source of the solution.
Cyprus is in talks with Russia about extending an existing 2.5 billion euro ($3.3 billion) loan and getting 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) in new aid, but Dijsselbloem was not optimistic that Cyprus would get the aid. "I don't know what the Russians might consider. There's already a loan from the Russian side but let's see what the Russian option delivers, but I haven't heard much good news from that side," he said.
(Read More: Cyprus Shuts Banks Until Tuesday, Seeks Russia Aid)
Cyprus's finance minister speaking in Moscow on Thursday said Cyprus and Russia were also discussing banking and gas deals.
Dijsselbloem insisted that Cyprus would have to contribute to the bailout for it to work.
"The markets understand that the Cypriot case is very, very specific. The tremendous size of the banking sector, the large risks in the banking sector and a contribution from the Cypriot side and from the Cypriot banks is inevitable."
Dijsselbloem said the Eurogroup would do everything to keep Cyprus in the single currency but would not offer it a bigger bailout program, saying that it would be unsustainable for the country.
"It simply isn't a good deal. They won't be able to pay back those kinds of loans. So we have to restrict the size of the program. The Cypriots have to pay back their loans and have to have a new future."
Dijsselbloem, who was appointed as the head of the Eurogroup in January, has come under fire over the deposit levy plan that Cyprus's parliament rejected. He told CNBC that a solution could be found but it would involve "burden sharing" and "must be sustainable and bearable for all."
-Written by CNBC's Holly Ellyatt, follow her on Twitter @HollyEllyatt