By Ria Novosti
Cyprus is assuming the European Union’s rotating presidency for the first time on Sunday, amid concerns about the country’s ability to cope with its own economic problems and help steer Europe out of its financial crisis.
Cyprus, which joined the European Union in 2004, is taking over the six-month rotating presidency from Denmark.
The eurozone’s third smallest economy, Cyprus announced last week that it had applied for an EU bailout, citing heavy exposure to debt-stricken Greece.
The country has become the fifth state of the 17-member eurozone to seek emergency funding from Europe, joining Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.
Some media have speculated that Cyprus may need up to 10 billion euros, over half the size of its 17.3-billion euro economy, to sustain its troubled finances.
Russia already provided Cyprus with 2.5 billion euros in low-interest loan in late 2011.