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New World Bank head to help bank's reputation - Russian official

Robert Zoellick, the World Bank's new president who assumed office July 1, will help normalize the bank's work after a recent row with its former head, a senior Russian official said Sunday. 

Paul Wolfowitz, a former president of the World Bank, resigned June 30 after waging a tenacious fight to hold onto his job following a scandal in which he secured a large pay raise for his companion. Wolfowitz, a former United States deputy defense secretary and a key architect of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, sparked outrage in the 185-nation development bank after arranging a promotion for Shaha Riza, with a salary of $200,000 - well above the normal level for her position.

“We can expect that the situation inside the World Bank and around it will stabilize and the work, which was partially paralyzed following the developments around its former chief, will intensify,” said Dmitry Pankin, head of the Russian Finance Ministry's department for international financial relations, government debt and government financial assets. Pankin said Russia had backed the candidature of Zoellick for the post of the World Bank's president and did not expect any radical changes in relations with the international financial organization. According to Pankin, Russia is closely cooperating with the bank's Russian office, which is helping the ministry prepare reference and analytical materials on particular issues. (