World Bank Wants to Finance Russia’s Regions – Director
BBC Monitoring International Reports, 25 October 2004
Khabarovsk — “Providing financial resources directly to Russia’s regions, without guarantees from the federal government” is to become a new direction of the World Bank’s work, the World Bank’s Director for Russia Kristalina Georgiyeva said in Khabarovsktoday. Asked by ITAR-TASS about the prospects of developing this direction, Georgiyeva said that in the conditions of “stabilization of Russia’s financial positions, when the country’s budget is in surplus for the fourth year in a row, regions in the first place need access to the World Bank’s resources”. The regional fund will amount to about 1bn-1.5bn dollars. “I hope that Russia will be an active borrower,” Georgiyevaadded. After a working meeting with Khabarovsk Territory governor Viktor Ishayev, Georgiyeva said that the governor “considers such a programme to be of interest to the (Russian) Far East and the territory inparticular”. In the course of her visit to the Far East, Georgiyeva is reviewing demand for financial resources and familiarizing herself with the implementation of projects financed by the WorldBank. An environmental forestry project is the most important for Khabarovsk Territory: about 15m dollars was allocated to protect forests from fires and to procure equipment, in particular mobile phones for forestry stations, bulldozer drivers and fire brigades. The territory is interested in loans for the construction of Komsomolsk-na-Amure-Khabarovsk gas pipeline, motorways and other major projects.