The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will allocate USD 290 million for the construction of roads in Russia in 2003. This was announced yesterday at a press conference by Russian Deputy Transport Minister Igor Slyunyaev (who is also the head of the State Roads Agency). According to Slyunyaev, USD 79 million will go towards the construction of the St. Petersburg ring road, and USD 150 million towards the construction of the Chita-Khabarovsk federal highway.
The deputy minister announced that the EBRD had allocated USD 229 million to Russia in 2002 for road building. He also said that the Russian Transport Ministry is holding negotiations with the European Investment Bank and hopes to receive a USD 300-400 million loan from the bank in 2004 for constructing and repairing Russian roads. Slyunyaev also revealed that the Transport Ministry is negotiating with the EBRD to be removed from its sovereign guarantee system in 2004. This would mean that in the future the bank would provide loans to Russia without state guarantees.