Today the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate the joint financing of projects in Russia, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus and Central Asia.

The MoU will bring together the expertise, capacity and comparative advantages of the three partners to the benefit of the countries concerned. Through this framework the Commission will also improve the quality of its external activity and enhance its strategic partnership with Russia and policies in the eastern neighbourhood and Central Asia.

The MoU will allow for the co-financing of operations in support of the European Neighbourhood Policy in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova. It will apply later to Central Asian countries and Belarus, subject to future Council agreement on EIB financing in these countries.

Concretely, the EIB and the EBRD will work together to finance projects of significant interest to the EU in energy, transport, telecommunications and environmental infrastructure. This is a good example of co-operation between the Commission and the two financial institutions where each party will contribute to improving the delivery of assistance and bring the highest added value to the target countries.

The MoU will be signed in Brussels at 15:00 by Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia on behalf of the Commission, Philippe Maystadt and Jean Lemierre, respectively Presidents of the EIB and EBRD.