President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre announced at a Thursday briefing in St. Petersburg that the bank had agreed to consider the possibility of becoming a minority shareholder in Russia's Vneshtorgbank in line with previously stipulated conditions.
The EBRD has begun a necessary independent audit of Vneshtorgbank that should be completed by the end of the summer. In autumn, the EBRD will then take the decision on how many shares and at what price it will buy them, Lemierre said.
The EBRD president also reminded those present that he had met Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in St. Petersburg on Wednesday. According to him, during their meeting, Kasyanov said that Russia saw the EBRD becoming a Vneshtorgbank shareholder as a highly significant move.
Lemierre stressed that the Russian premier had said that an important task for the Russian government was to start the restructuring process within this banking establishment.