The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday that Cyprus has asked for financial aid amid the eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
"Today, the IMF received an invitation from the Cypriot authorities to participate in the external financial assistance to contain the risks to the Cypriot economy," IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.
Eurozone finance ministers said after a conference call Wednesday that they were favourable to a request for financial help from Cyprus in coordination with the IMF.
"The Eurogroup acknowledges that an adjustment programme seems warranted at this stage and considers responding favorably to it," the ministers said in a statement, adding: "The Eurogroup also welcomes the request of Cyprus for financial assistance from the IMF."
The conference call comes on the eve of an EU summit crucial to stemming contagion in Europe's sovereign debt crisis, now in its third year.
Finance ministers from the 17-nation eurozone said in the statement that the next step was for the European Commission, the European Central Bank, Cypriot authorities and the International Monetary Fund "to agree on a programme."
This would set the amount needed by Cyprus as well as spell out the reforms it would need to carry out in return to put its financial house in order.