Gazprom and Vneshtorgbank, which services Russian foreign trade, signed an agreement on long-term strategic cooperation on November 10. According to the document, Gazprom may postpone paying off credits that have already been taken from Vneshtorgbank totaling almost $670m, the Izvestia newspaper reported. Gazprom and Vneshtorgbank are also planning to create a joint investment and financial structure, which is to be headed by Yury Lvov, former president of Gazprombank. The agreement includes practically the whole range of services that can be provided to a large company. Besides solving current financial problems of Gazprom, Vneshtorgbank is planning to render assistance to the gas monopolist in attracting external credits and organizing loan bond issues (Gazprom has twice successfully issued Eurobonds totaling $500m over the past year). However, this agreement does not contain the answer to the question how and when the gas giant will pay off the $670m credit, Andrey Kostin, chairman of Vneshtorgbank, was quoted as saying. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller was so happy with the agreement that he even promised a joint management of Gazprom's non-core assets (some 20bn rubles or $630m) to Vneshtorgbank.
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