Bucharest To Host Stability Pact Conference

Bucharest is to host a regional conference on October 25-6th featuring representatives of donor-nations of the states party to the Pact of Stability for South Eastern Europe. The World Bank, the European Commission and the Romanian government are among the event's organisers. The conference is aiming to support programmes adopted two years ago, in the wake of Nato's bombing of Yugoslavia, on the economic regeneration and development of south-east Europe. The head of the Russian delegation to the conference, Vladimir Zamorov, has announced that Russia contributed about half a billion dollars in assistance to region in the 1999-2001 period. According to him, Moscow is giving Yugoslavia priority attention, as it was the worst affected by the military strikes, as well as years of sanctions and embargoes. Zamorov said that Russia had provided the population with huge humanitarian assistance, since it was practically the only provider of energy sources to Yugoslavia and other basic goods during its most difficult times. Russian firms are expected to be involved in many long-term investment projects, such as the reconstruction of an oil refinery in Novy-Sad, the re-building of a copper-smelting facility, transport communications and a hydro-electric power station on the Danube. The Russian diplomat also spoke about a major project to expand a gas pipe-line across Romanian territory, which would allow deliveries of natural gas to Romania and third countries to be significantly increased. A long-term programme to develop the oil sector in Bulgaria and the reconstruction of a nuclear power station in this country has also attracted the participation of Russian firms. Mutually advantageous bilateral trade-economic agreements are also being implemented or drawn up in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other Balkan countries. Zamorov said that all this was being done to create a stable development pattern for the region as soon as possible, which is a pre-requisite for the regions' long-term security.

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