The whole reason behind Cyprus’ sudden decision
to impose a new tax on banking deposits was due to the country’s need for a
bailout of 10 billion euros from the European Union. The tax was a condition of
Russia, whose political and economic elite holds
anything between 5 and 10 billion euros in those deposits, according to Cyprus
Central Bank Chief Panicos Demetriades, hinted early on that it could help out
financially to such a friendly country in dire needs.
Russia has foreign exchange reserves worth $537
billion (as of January), the world’s fourth largest, according to Reuters. So
it certainly could afford to lend a few of those billions — particularly
considering that it would be on more or less commercial terms.