Russian Government Approves Cooperation Program With Ebrd

Russian Minister of Trade and Economic Development Herman Gref today told journalists that the government had approved a cooperation program for the medium-term with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). He reminded the press that the EBRD was going to issue a 800 million euro loan to Russia in 2002, while it would also provide the country with 1 billion euros a year in the 2003-4 period. 40% of this amount is to be used to implement projects guaranteed by the Russian government, while the remaining 60% will be utilized for commercial projects. The government, according to Gref, had chosen its priority areas where the loans would be used. He said that these priorities coincided with the main focus of the government's medium-term program in the economy and social sphere, while they would also provide for investment in infrastructure, transportation, the banking sector, the legal system and the so-called "new economy." Gref also reported that the government would consider a similar cooperation program with the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development by December 15th.

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