The Republic of Cyprus has one of the largest exposures to Greek debt, which is why some analysts think it will struggle to avoid defaulting unless it gets a bailout.
Now Russia is offering the country a multi-billion dollar loan with low interest.
Russians have close ties to the island, with around 25,000 of them living in Limassol on Cyprus’ south coast; around one-tenth of the town’s population.
The island is an attractive place for Russians to live and work, and many say they get a warm welcome from Cypriots, as well as special tax breaks for their businesses.
But some say Moscow’s move is motivated by its desire for Russian companies to gain a slice of Cyprus’ energy market.
Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reports from Limassol in Cyprus.