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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Livshits Takes New Role at Rossiisky Kredit

Days of media speculation about Alexander Livshits, former presidential envoy to the Group of Seven leading industrial nations, ended Thursday when Rossiisky Kredit bank announced he had been appointed to direct the bank's return to liquidity.

The bank, which was severely hit by the 1998 financial crisis, went under with liabilities to its depositors of 27 billion rubles ($943 million), 54 percent of which was owed to foreigners.

Last summer it was taken under the umbrella of the Agency for Restructuring Credit Organizations, or ARKO. A debt restructuring agreement was reached only at the end of April, but is yet to be approved by a court.

A former deputy prime minister, Livshits is considered one of the nation's best lobbyists. On Wednesday, he was appointed a financial and economic adviser to Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, but is not on the permanent staff.

At the Rossiisky Kredit shareholders meeting Thursday morning, Dmitry Lyubinin, the former head of the bank, became Livshits' deputy. Arkady Gaidamak, a bank shareholder, was elected head of the bank's board of directors while Vitaly Malkin, former board member, became his deputy.

Rossiisky Kredit said in a statement that the changes in top management were made because "Rossiisky Kredit is entering its main period of restructuring and revival of the normal activities of the bank."

"The bank faced new tasks that require experience and a fresh view of the situation," the statement said.

The first priority for the bank is paying off debts to its private and corporate creditors, the Agency of Financial Information quoted Livshits as saying after the election.

"I hope that the arbitration court will approve the amicable settlement between the bank and its creditors June 28 because more than 80 percent of our creditors agreed to the conditions of the debt restructuring. We plan to start paying immediately after that.

"We are entering a new stage in the implementation of our financial strategy. The bank has everything necessary to proceed and I am sure that in the next few months the bank will enter a period of dynamic development."

Livshits said he had been serving the government for eight years and was looking forward to working in a new field.

"I had several different proposals, but Rossiisky Kredit interested me not only because it is a big bank, but also because it is a structure that managed to overcome the consequences of the financial crisis and has a huge potential for development," he said.