Cypriot finance minister: We've turned to Russia because our own family wouldn't help us

Speaking on television, Cyprus' finance minister Michalis Sarris has said that "we turned to Russia because our own family wouldn't help us."

Additional Russian funding could help keep Cyprus within borrowing limits that would let the International Monetary Fund back a rescue.

"It seems to me there is a potential deal structured so the loan is turned to equity over time, in a way that would be compatible with the IMF's requirements," said Jacob Nell, an economist at Morgan Stanley in Moscow.

"All the large Russian banks have denied any possibility of bailing out Cyprus - VTB, Sberbank, Gazprombank," said Eugene Tarzimanov, a senior credit officer at Moody's in Moscow.