Cyprus mulling early repayment of Russian loan

Cyprus is considering repaying early the remainder of a 2.5 billion euro ($2.83 billion) loan that Russia granted the island nation in 2012 amid a financial crisis.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told a business forum Thursday that Cyprus is grateful to Russia for answering a call for help from a previous administration, but that the island has now rebounded and can manage on its own.

Georgiades said the government wants to reduce public debt to 96% of annual GDP by year's end and 90% by the end of 2020.

Cyprus still owes 1.56 billion euros from the loan it received with a 2.5 percent interest rate. In 2013, Cyprus accepted a multibillion euro rescue deal from creditors to stave off bankruptcy.