"The government of the Republic of Cyprus has today informed the appropriate European authorities of its decision to submit to euro area member states a request of financial assistance from the EFSF/ESM," the Cyprus government said in a statement.
"The purpose of the required assistance is to contain the risks to the Cypriot economy, notably those arising from the negative spill-over effects through its financial sector, due to its large exposure in the Greek economy", added the statement.
Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias, has called for a meeting with the nation's political leaders tomorrow to discuss the need to recapitalize their banking.
This bailout request, which has been expected for weeks, comes hours after Fitch downgraded the nation's sovereign debt to 'junk' status due to the increased bailout funding needs of Cyprus' banks, resulting from their considerable exposure to Greece.
Cyprus is the fifth out of 17 members to request financial aid, joining the group conformed by Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain.