16 Feb 2010 17:08

World Bank to begin over $1 bln projects in Russia in 2010

BARVIKHA. Feb 16 (Interfax) - The World Bank is planning to begin projects in Russia this year that combine to over $1 billion, Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists on Tuesday.

"The World Bank plans to begin projects this year that exceed one billion dollars in volume," Dvorkovich said after President Dmitry Medvedev met with World Bank chief Robert Zoellick.

"It's possible that not all of that amount will be spending in one year's time," he said. "But overall, the World Bank's obligations could come to several hundred million dollars with roughly equal distribution between projects in the financial system and real sector, particularly in energy efficiency," he said.

There are also continuing projects that represent several billions of dollars, he added.

Medvedev and Zoellick spent some time discussing World Bank projects in Russia, particularly involving the bank's involvement in energy-efficiency initiatives, as well as others involving financial systems and supporting regional banks, Dvorkovich said.

"Some interesting projects involve Russia and the World Bank jointly financing projects in third countries, in Central Asia or Moldova, for example," Dvorkovich said. "Cooperation is possible here between the Eurasian Development Bank and the World Bank, and this division of risk could prove effective," he said.

The two also discussed cooperation in the "Big 20" framework, he said. "The President of Russia was interested the view of the World Bank leadership as to priorities for the next summit," he said. "These priorities are reform of financial systems, including reforming private financial institutions and international financial architecture, the World Bank in particular," he said.

"This concerns the world economy in general, the main theme of the year - how to combine strategies for withdrawal from the creation of stimuli for increasing private demand, otherwise, if that is not going to be done, the growth of budget deficits is already dangerous. And the Russian president also shares this view," he said.

"Balancing the growth of the international economy was also discussed, specifically developing and developed countries," he said.