The World Bank Continues Working Partnership with Russia for Its Cultural Heritage

December 7, 2010

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2010 -- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$ 100 million loan for the Preservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage Project for the Russian Federation. The main objective of the Project is to support the rehabilitation and improvement of cultural heritage sites and institutions, conservation, safekeeping and promotion of cultural heritage assets in four of the country’s oblasts (regions), including Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, and Tver oblasts. The Project will also help the participating oblasts to strengthen their internal capacity for cultural heritage management so that it could foster socio-economic development arising from the opportunities of cultural tourism. The Project builds on know-how and operations experience of the St. Petersburg Economic Development Project and its predecessor, the St. Petersburg City Center Rehabilitation Project.

The Project is in line with the key objectives of the Concept for the Long-Term Social and Economic Development of the Russian Federation until 2020, which refers to culture as one of the strategic sources for economic development, and to Russian regions’ cultural potential. Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod and Tver oblasts - being located between St. Petersburg and Moscow - are rich in history and in national historic landmarks that are of universal significance. The Project aims to assist the Russian Government in its efforts to improve protection of Russia’s moveable cultural property by upgrading collection management, conservation and storage facilities, and museum security practices.

The Project is fully consistent with the current World Bank/Russia Country Partnership Strategy (Strategy). The Project is consistent with the three core Strategy’s objectives, including diversification of the country’s economy for its sustainable development and growth, improvement of public sector management and performance, and enhancement of Russia’s global role.

Several Russian regions are still facing complex development challenges, and the World Bank stands ready to increase its support to these regions upon the request of the Federal Government”, said Pedro Alba, the World Bank Country Director for Russia. “The Preservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage Project is a good example of our cooperation. The four regions participating in the project will gain from improving their institutional capacity, as well as from enhancing their ability to incorporate cultural and historical heritage into regional development strategies.

Total financing of the Project is US$ 250.5 million, of which Government of the Russian Federation finances US$ 150.5 million from its own resources. The IBRD US$ 100 million flexible loan has an interest rate equal to 6 Months LIBOR for US dollar, plus variable spread, with final maturity of 17 years including a grace period of 6 years with level repayment pattern.

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