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Russia: Loans Awarded For Environment, Economy, Energy

Washington, 30 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Potanin has signed two agreements with the World Bank for loans totaling $159 million.

The loans are an $89 million package to help Russia develop its capital markets, and a $70 million loan to finance the purchase of energy-efficient gas equipment in 10 cities. Potanin is in Washington attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Johannes Linn, World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia, said after yesterday's signing that the loans "exemplify the wide-ranging scope of cooperation between the Russian federation and the World Bank."

Russian officials also signed to accept two grants totaling more than $80 million from the Global Environment Facility. The facility, sponsored by two United Nations agencies and administered by the bank, made a $60 million grant to help Russia phase out the consumption of ozone-depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and aerosol spray cans.

The second -- a $20.1 million grant -- will help Russia maintain biodiversity in its environment.