Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Thomas Mirow
28 august 2009
Transcript of the meeting's beginning:
Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, we are glad to meet with you in Moscow.
Russia has maintained good and long-standing relations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The Bank has invested over $11 billion in Russian projects, involving economic sectors highly important for the country. These include auto industry projects such as the launch of Volkswagen and Toyota assembly plants in Kaluga and St. Petersburg respectively, as well as power grid modernisation in certain Russian regions and a sewage treatment facilities project in St. Petersburg.
We are closely following your new programme being developed for Russia for 2010-2012. The bank is well capitalised and can attract large financing on favourable terms. Changing certain charter regulations on the proportion between net worth and loan grant capacities could further increase financing volumes at good rates without changing them.
In any case, we are satisfied to see our relations developing. We are glad to see you and hope for constructive results from our meeting.
Thomas Mirow (as translated): Mr Putin, first I would like to thank you for taking your time, during this difficult economic period, to meet with us.
Before we discuss our contacts, which are indeed good, I would like to express my deepest condolences regarding the Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric Power Plant disaster. We have well-established contacts with the plant's managing company, and we are also affected by the tragedy. If we can be of any assistance with the tragedy's relief effort, we are ready to offer our help.
Vladimir Putin (in English): Thank you.
Thomas Mirow: We have respectfully followed your country's efforts to cope with the economic crisis. We are aware that the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was a highly difficult period both for Russia and many other countries, with many efforts put forth to ensure the present level of economic stability. The future may bring new challenges for Russia as well. Relying on our long-time and fruitful relations, we are ready to offer our assistance and support in accordance with the priorities defined by you.
I was planning to elaborate on our bank's activities in Russia, but I see that you are perfectly aware of them.
Considering all that has been said, I would like to emphasize that we are ready and willing to participate in fulfilling projects in sectors you listed as high priority, namely modernising and improving infrastructure facilities. We see a great potential in Russia in energy and energy efficiency, and we consider it important to invest in the diversification of the economy.
A very important step in this direction was taken following our talks with Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin this month. I would like to express my gratitude to Mr Yakunin for his attitude to our cooperation and for his prompt and efficient efforts.
In conclusion, if you don't mind, I would like to say that you were right in pointing out that our bank's capitalisation is good. However, due to the economic downturn there is an increasing demand for foreign investment. Our shareholders, including those in Russia, will take decisions on our actions to handle this growing demand.
I would like to thank you again for this opportunity to meet with you and further develop the bank's fruitful cooperation with Russia.