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World Bank Says Russia Might Join In Moldova Bailout

Vladimir Voronin
Vladimir Voronin
CHISINAU -- A World Bank official says Russia might work with the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and other international donors to help Moldova out of its economic crisis, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Melanie Marlett, the World Bank's country manager for Moldova, said she held "good discussions" on the issue with Russian officials last week and the World Bank welcomes Russian input on an economic package for Moldova.

Moscow promised Chisinau a $500 million loan in early summer at the height of Moldova's political crisis, which included violent street protests, repeat elections, and a new, pro-Western majority in parliament.

Former Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, the head of the Communist Party, has praised Russia's offer to help and used it in his election campaign as proof that "Moldova's true friends are in the East, not in the West."

Relying heavily on remmitances and exports, Moldova has been hit hard by the global recession and its economy is expected to contract by as much as 10 percent this year.