Harris Georgiades, the island country’s Finance Minister has confirmed the Cypriot government’s ahead-of-schedule partial repayment of a 2.5 billion-euro Russian loan going back to 2012. The Minister was speaking during the ninth Nicosia Financial Conference, where he made the confirmation of the same.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to Russia, explaining how Cyprus has been grateful of Russia’s help, but have since become stronger and now rely on their own strength.

The CAN says that the repayment has started, with Cyprus paying Russia two instalments annually; the outstanding is currently at 1.57 billion euros.