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Cyprus president says Russia ready to pitch in to rescue package along with EU

Cyprus' president says Russia is ready to contribute to a rescue package that the country needs to stay afloat.

Dimitris Christofias says Wednesday that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin assured him of Moscow's readiness to "extend a helping hand" to Cyprus in a telephone conversation the previous day.

Christofias didn't specify how much Russia would offer, but said this help could "save" the country.

Cyprus is trying to finalize a bailout from its euro partners of as much as €17 billion ($22.8 billion) — roughly equal to its annual gross domestic product — to prop up its ailing banks and flagging economy.

Cyprus received a €2.5 billion loan from Russia in 2011 and sought another €5 billion from Moscow last year without result.