Russian Minister on European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's work with Russian commercial banks

Herman Gref, Minister for Economic Development and Trade of Russia, expressed himself in favour of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development working with Russian commercial banks. He spoke today at the annual meeting of the EBRD board of governors. The minister said the intensification of the bank's work is necessary to render financial assistance to small and medium-sized Russian businesses. Russia is particularly interested in the provision of loans by the bank for the development of commercial ship-building, the aircraft and space industry, transport infrastructure, medical equipment production, and the services sector. In his speech, Gref, who is EBRD governor from Russia, supported the strategy proposed by the bank for the next five years, which provides for the crediting of various projects in countries within the bank's operations zone to the tune of 3.4 billion Euros annually. The minister informed the Board of Governors about Russia's economic performance in the year 2000. "We are moulding Russia's image as an open country where capital can be invested," he noted. Gref stressed that Russia is carrying out its financial commitments for the current year, as a result of which its credit rating has gone up.

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