Gazprom denies offering Cyprus deal

The Cypriot President has called an emergency meeting of party leaders in a frantic effort to put together a plan B after MPs rejected the terms of an EU bailout aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy.

Lawmakers yesterday flatly rejected the terms of an EU-IMF bailout that included a tax on peoples' savings.

Eurozone finance ministers say they remain ready to help Cyprus.

However the German Finance Mininster has warned the country against "irresponsible solutions".

The government is expected to try other ways of making up the €5.8bn shortfall. They are considering a bond issue, bank restructuring and will also try to secure more Russian investments.

Russians hold between one third and half of all Cypriot deposits.

Local media have speculated that one proposal on the table in Moscow is for the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom to come in and inject the banks with cash in exchange for interest in the island's offshore energy fields.

Gazprom has refused to confirm that this offer, also reported by Cypriot media, is under discussion.

Opposition MP Pambos Papageorgiou thinks the bank closure will stop a run on the country's banks.

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