The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 200 million to Vnesheconombank to finance projects promoted by SMEs and mid-caps in the Russian Federation. The EIB funds will co-finance projects fostering the development of the private sector, improving social and economic infrastructure and addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.

EIB Vice-President Anton Rop commented: “The loan signed today represents a milestone in the EIB’s activity in Russia as it is the first EIB operation targeting small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-cap companies in the country. The development of a strong SME sector, one of the strategic goals of the Partnership for Modernisation between the European Union and the Russian Federation, is of key importance for the diversification and modernisation of the Russian economy. Vnesheconombank and its subsidiary banks active in this sector constitute strategic partners for the EIB in the bid to reach Russian SMEs and mid-caps in need of long-term financing to develop their businesses.”

This loan is in line with the EIB’s priority of providing better access to long-term finance in particular to SMEs to help mitigate the effects of the financial crisis. To this end, the EIB is joining forces with well-established financing institutions like Vnesheconombank and its subsidiary banks, which know the local market and have SMEs and mid-cap companies as their customers.

This credit line loan is being granted in the framework of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernisation (P4M) launched at the 25th EU-Russia Summit held on 31 May – 1 June 2010 in Rostov. The Partnership for Modernisation serves as a flexible framework for encouraging reform, boosting growth and fostering competitiveness, all of which are supported by promoting small and medium-sized enterprises and the exchange of experience between the EIB and Russian financial institutions on the subject of financial services for SMEs and mid-caps.  The P4M was launched in the context of the strategic partnership between the EU and the Russian Federation.