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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

EBRD Says Russia Needs a Lot of Money

ROME — Russia is on the right track to entice investors by combining payments on its debt and setting reforms to put the economy on a sound footing, the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said Saturday.

Jean Lemierre said Russia's improved economic climate was largely due to the rise in revenues it generated from oil and gas, and wider reform and investment was needed in the medium term.

"They need a lot of money, they need to invest a lot," Lemierre told reporters after attending part of a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven finance ministers plus Russia.

"I'm not saying it's easy, but now they have a pilot," he said, adding that President Vladimir Putin was making the right moves to rebuild investor confidence after the financial market meltdown in 1998.

"You can lose investors in two minutes, like in 1998, and spend years getting it back. That's what they're doing."

The president of the EBRD said Russia had a positive economic growth rate last year and was set for another one in 2001.

"The situation has improved. There is more political — I would not say stability, that's not the right word — but political visibility," he said.

Lemierre also noted that Russia was not living for the present on the back of high world prices for oil and gas.

"They've increased Central Bank reserves at quite a high speed, which means that a part of oil and gas reserves is put aside for the future," he said.

"They've got a certain cushion for the future."

The London-based EBRD is the main international lending agency in Eastern Europe, mainly devoted to loans for private sector projects.