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Cyprus says pays off 2011 Russian debt

ATHENS, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Cyprus has fully repaid a loan it secured from Russia in 2011, its finance minister said on Monday, a debt assumed by the island's former communist-led administration to keep it afloat at the peak of a financing crisis.

"A short while ago the Russian loan was fully paid off," Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on his official Twitter account, referring to a 1.58 billion euro ($1.76 billion)balance. "Cyprus can now comfortably finance its needs from the international markets."

Cyprus had negotiated a 2.5 billion euro loan from Moscow in 2011 as the island started feeling the effects of a financial downturn and heavy exposure of its banks to debt-saddled Greece.

In early 2013 it received an international bailout funded by its European Union partners and the International Monetary Fund, worth 10 billion euros. ($1 = 0.8973 euros) (Writing by Michele Kambas Editing by Peter Graff)