14 Jul 2009 12:38

State Duma expected to ratify EurAsEC anti-crisis fund agreement on Wed

MOSCOW. July 14 (Interfax) - The State Duma will take up ratification of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) agreement to create an anti-crisis fund at a session on Wednesday.

"We will propose a vote on ratification," Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov told journalists following a meeting of the Duma Council.

Creation of the fund "will not only consolidate the member states of EurAsEC, but will provide the opportunity to overcome the effects of the crisis on the community," he said.

It was reported earlier that President Dmitry Medvedev submitted the agreement to the State Duma on Monday.

The heads of government of the EurAsEC countries, including Armenia, signed the agreement on formation of the fund on June 9, 2009. Russia will supply $7.5 billion out of the $10 billion total. Kazakhstan will contribute $1 billion.

Money from the fund will be provided to signatory countries as sovereign loans and stabilization loans, and to finance interstate investment projects.

It was reported earlier that Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was appointed chairman of the board of the fund, which ought to begin functioning in September 2009.

"I believe that the countries will not wait until the deadline, but will provide their contributions as soon as the agreement is ratified," Kudrin said. "In order for operations to begin, 50% of the initial contribution [10% of each country's equity stake] must be allocated. For Russia that's $750 million. Accordingly half of that amount and half of the initial allocations from the others are required in order to begin operations. I think that we will begin operations no later than September."

Russia has already revised its budget to include the $750-million allocation to the anti-crisis fund.

EurAsEC includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia have observer status.