Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out

PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick Visited Russia upon the Invitation of the Government

February 18, 2010




Moscow, February 16-17, 2010 World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick visited Russia on February 16 - 17 to participate in the Moscow New Partners in Global Development Finance international conference and to discuss expanding cooperation with Russia as an emerging global and increasingly important regional donor.

On his second visit to Moscow as World Bank president, Zoellick met with President Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Alexei Kudrin, Russian State Development Bank (VEB) Chairman Vladimir Dmitriev, Sberbank Chairman and CEO German Gref, as well as several key private sector investors and managers.

In his meetings, Zoellick highlighted the importance of the Russian Federation as a strategic partner of the World Bank Group at the global, regional, and bilateral levels.

Medvedev and Zoellick continued their dialogue in the context of the G20 on strengthening the international financial system and reforming the international financial architecture, including reforms at the World Bank. They also touched on this year’s main theme: how to combine a gradual and appropriate exit strategy for public stimulus policies with the creation of incentives to increase private demand, while also contributing to more balanced global economic growth.

In his meeting with Kudrin, Zoellick reviewed progress in current operations of the World Bank Group and agreed to develop new programs to increase energy efficiency and strengthen Russia’s financial system, including support for regional banks.  They confirmed the priority on future cooperation in financial literacy, cultural heritage, and infrastructure financing through VEB.  In addition, they agreed to explore opportunities for private sector development and community-led initiatives in the Northern Caucasus Federal Okrug.

In his meeting with Kudrin, Zoellick reviewed progress in current operations of the World Bank Group and agreed to develop new programs to increase energy efficiency and strengthen Russia’s financial system, including support for regional banks. They confirmed the priority on future cooperation in financial literacy, cultural heritage, and infrastructure financing through VEB. In addition, they agreed to explore opportunities for private sector development and community-led initiatives in the Northern Caucasus Federal Okrug.

Another important topic discussed was how to deepen cooperation between the Russian Federation and the World Bank Group in support of low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, particularly through partnering with the Eurasian Development Bank and its EurAsEc anti-crisis fund.

Finally, the meeting reviewed progress in increasing the World Bank Group’s capital and in strengthening voice and participation of developing countries in the Bank Group.

In his meeting with Gref, Zoellick agreed to deepen cooperation with Sberbank in the expanding carbon finance market.

On the second day of his visit, Zoellick addressed the participants of the Moscow International Conference, which was hosted by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation with support from the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The objective of the conference was to highlight the growing contributions of new bilateral partners, and to promote better coordination among these and more traditional development partners to enhance the development impact of aid programs.

Over the course of the two day conference, participants discussed the role of new partners in development finance, how to best engage with other development partners, including through the multilateral system; shared best practice experiences on targeting and communicating results; and deepened their common understanding of the road ahead.

“One of the strategic challenges I have posed for the World Bank Group,” said Zoellick, “is to contribute to the Modernization of Multilateralism. Russia, for its part, is pursuing its own economic reforms and growth strategy while expanding and diversifying its international outlook. This conference is an expression of Russia’s active role in forging new partnerships to shape the evolving global aid architecture. Russia perceived earlier than most that newer donors have experiences, ideas, and resources that can help all countries climb the ladder of opportunity.”

In commenting on Russia’s role as a development partner, Kudrin said in his opening remarks that, “The majority of new donors are maintaining – and sometimes increasing – their earlier agreed level of assistance in the context of the crisis, while many other partners have frozen or cut back expenditures on these purposes. Russia is not only meeting its earlier commitments in the midst of the global crisis, but has also significantly increased expenditures on international development aid (IDA). Russia considers it critically important to preserve the recent steady upward trends in financing development. Russia intends to facilitate the process and take an active part in establishing new partnership relations that would make it possible to shape a new global aid system.”

To illustrate and support the country’s development role, just prior to the conference kick-off, Kudrin and Zoellick signed two agreements that expand Russia’s role as a regional donor to Eastern European and Central Asian countries. One is a program to increase excellence in effective public financial management, including through a center to deliver professional training to specialists throughout the region. According to Kudrin, “The program is planned for five years, and Russia will allocate US$30 million, including US$4 million in 2010.”

The second agreement commits Russia and the World Bank to expanding current regional cooperation for low-income countries, focusing on the quality of education and food security, as well as health, infectious disease control, access to energy, and agriculture.

Media Contacts
In Moscow
Marina Vasilieva
Tel : +7 (495) 745-70-00
mvasilieva@worldbank.org

RESOURCES


PRESS RELEASE NO:
2010/02/18/ECA/RU

Api
Api