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Russia: Bank Denies Plan To End Gazprom Financing

Washington, 29 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - A spokesman for the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) yesterday denied that the agency is planning to stop financing projects with the Russian natural gas company Gazprom.

Spokesman David Carter said the agency has so far approved one $134 million loan under a three-year-old umbrella agreement with Gazprom. That financing approved a year ago helped purchase a number of gas compressors from American firms for use in Russia.

Carter says the agency is currently considering a second loan of around $180 million for U.S. made oil drilling equipment, but that the project is in its very early stages and won't be ready for consideration by the Exim bank's board for some time yet.

News reports had said the financing would be stopped because of U.S. congressional concerns over Gasprom's involvement in a natural gas joint venture that would include Iran, but the spokesman said that is not correct.