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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

$122 World Bank Loan

The Associated Press

The World Bank has approved a $122.5 million loan to Russia to improve water supply and waste treatment in medium-sized cities, a spokeswoman for the bank said Friday.

The credit will be used to replace water mains and other repairs in 14 Russian cities with a population under 500,000, said the spokeswoman.

The bank’s board of directors approved the loan Thursday in Washington. The loan for water system upgrades may lead to other credits to improve municipal services in Russia.

After a decade of economic decline, municipal services in many Russian cities barely function.

$80M EBRD Deals

The Moscow Times

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development plans to invest up to $50 million in a new fund that will make equity investments in medium-sized companies in Russia and Ukraine, the bank said in a statement this week.

In a separate deal, the EBRD will lend state-owned Vneshtorgbank $30 million for a new program to make financing of foreign trade more efficient, the bank said.

"This is not only good for Vneshtorgbank — it is good for all Russian companies that will now find it easier to sell their goods abroad," EBRD president Jean Lemierre said in the statement.

Kiev Debt Talks

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG — President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia and Ukraine may reach a final agreement on some $1.6 billion natural gas debts before the end of the year, Russian media reported.

Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma met Friday for talks on energy cooperation between the neighboring countries, whose electricity and natural gas systems are closely entwined.

Ukraine has suffered blackouts in recent months in many areas, and has asked Russia to contribute electricity despite already mounting debts for natural gas.

The meeting Friday between the heads of state was the eighth this year to discuss the complex energy dispute.

Ukraine also lost an important source of electrical power when the last working nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl power plant was shut down Dec. 15, after years of pressure from Western governments over environmental concerns.