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WB official - Development bank to boost Russia's economic

A project to set up a development and foreign trade bank will promote economic growth in Russia, a senior World Bank official said Wednesday.

Kristalina Georgieva, Russia Country Director for the World Bank, said: “The Development Bank will contribute to Russia's economic growth and help Russia to position itself as an economic growth leader.” Russian President Vladimir Putin decreed May 17 that the state-controlled foreign economic bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) should be enlarged into a state corporation, the Federal Bank for Development and Foreign Trade, by incorporating Roseximbank and the Russian Development Bank. Georgieva warned that the development bank should not come under political pressure, describing the issue as “complicated.”

The World Bank official said the Development Bank could give an impetus to the country's least developed regions and create opportunities to speed up economic growth there, as well as to further promote Russia's private sector. Designed to promote the competitiveness of the Russian economy, its diversification and investment incentives, the new bank could increase its capital of at least 70 billion rubles ($2.7 billion) if necessary on government instructions. The new Vnesheconombank will mostly provide retail banking services, issue bonds and securities and give insurance guarantees against political and commercial risks facing export loans. (