Last updated: March 16. 2013 11:40PM - 180 Views

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(AP) Cyprus' finance minister says Russia is likely to contribute money to a rescue package that the cash-strapped country is trying to finalize with eurozone partners.

Vassos Shiarly says leaders from the other 16 EU countries that use the euro are in high level talks with Moscow about a contribution to the bailout.

He told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday that it's probable that Russia would help.

A bailout would likely be worth as much as the tiny country's entire yearly economic output of 17.5 billion ($23.51 billion), raising questions over whether it will be able to pay it back.

Cyprus has already received a low interest, 2.5 billion ($3.36 billion) loan from long-time ally Russia to keep it afloat and has asked for a five-year repayment extension.

Associated Press
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