Responding to a request from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the federal government has put together a short list of priority projects it would like the organization to help fund, and three of the four are located in the Leningrad region. The three local projects are the continuation of work on a flood-protection dam at the entrance to the city's harbor, construction of two bridges as part of the Ring Road project and the development of a regional system for navigation safety in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland. The fourth project is for reconstruction work on Moscow's Ostankino television tower, which was damaged in a fire last September. The government is asking the EBRD to provide $392 million in loans out of a total cost of $810 million for the four projects. Of that total, $379 million would be earmarked for the three local projects. Over the last 10 years, the EBRD has had extensive involvement in Russia, funneling about 13 billion euro ($11.57 billion) to projects here, with 4 billion euro ($3.56 billion) of that coming from the bank's own coffers. In accordance with the EBRD's charter, about 85 percent of these funds has been channeled to Russia's private sector.
Rescuers found the pilot of one of the two Su-34 fighters that had collided in midair in the Far East on January 18