Cyprus has received the first 590 million euro tranche of a 2.5 billion euro loan pledged by Russia, the Cypriot government’s press office said on Thursday. Last week Cyprus Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias and Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak signed an agreement on Russia\'s 2.5 billion euro loan. Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said in early October that the loan for 4.5 years might be granted at an interest rate of 4.5 percent. Debt problems in neighboring Greece have posed challenges for Cyprus\' economy. Kazamias said in October that the country would not ask the European Union for financial support despite calls from some Cypriot politicians to request assistance. The International Monetary Fund asked the Cypriot government in late November to work out measures for fiscal consolidation and stability of the country\'s banking system.