EBRD President Thomas Mirow visits Moscow

By Richard Wallis

EBRD President Thomas Mirow has arrived in Moscow for talks with the Russian government ahead of the May 15-16 Annual General Meeting in London at which the Bank’s shareholders, including the Russian Federation, will set priorities for the EBRD’s anti-crisis response in its 30 countries of operation.

Mr. Mirow is due to meet Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina, who represents the Russian Federation on the EBRD’s Board of Governors. He will also have a separate meeting with Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin, who is an Alternate Governor of the EBRD.

Mr. Mirow will be accompanied by Alain Pilloux, the EBRD Business Group Director in charge of the Bank’s Russian operations.

The EBRD is the single largest medium and long term financial investor in Russia. From the moment the crisis hit the country at the end of August 2008 to the end of the first quarter of 2009, the EBRD committed a total of more than USD 1 billion in funding for Russian projects, in addition to trade finance guarantees. EBRD investments in the Russian economy during the whole of 2008 amounted to about USD 2.5 billion and are expected to reach about USD 3 billion in 2009.

Mr. Mirow’s Moscow programme will include a meeting with Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, in order to sign a framework agreement setting out the principles of cooperation between the EBRD and this key business grouping, which represents over 300,000 members.

Under this agreement, the EBRD and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs will pledge to work together to identify projects which may be eligible for EBRD funding in Russia or the Bank’s other countries of operation.

To promote this, the EBRD has made a grant to fund the hiring of independent consultants, in order to prepare a detailed assessment of investment potentials in the Russian corporate sector in close cooperation with the EBRD and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.