OREANDA-NEWS. December 09, 2013. In the presence of H.E. Ambassador Usackas, Head of the EU Delegation to the Russian Federation, the signature of the finance contract between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Raiffeisenbank Russia took place.

This EUR 40 million loan in favour of a Russian subsidiary bank of a leading EU banking group, RBI Group, will support projects promoted by small and medium-sized companies in the Russian Federation.

The credit line, extended in the framework of the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization, is the first-time EIB operation with the bank of RBI Group in the Russian Federation, and amongst the first EIB loans to subsidiaries of EU banks in the country.

Mr Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Russia commented: "I appreciate that EIB funds will contribute to the development of the Russian private sector through improved access of SMEs and Mid-Caps to long-term finance. Today the EIB is joining forces with a major financing institution that has a well-established presence in the local market and serves SMEs and Mid-Cap companies, and this signature reinforces the partnership of the EIB with RBI group".

Mr. Arndt Roechling, Raiffeisenbank Head of the Financial Directorate, Member of the Management Board added: The European Investment Bank (EIB) is a long term important partner of RBI group. EIB and RBI have jointly implemented a significant number of projects in RBI network units in Central and Eastern Europe. But for Raiffeisenbank Russia this is the first project in cooperation with EIB. Development of Small and Middle-sized corporate customers is one of our priorities, and cooperation with EIB will support our plans for development of this segment. Within the framework of EIB program we could offer long-term financing to our customers under attractive terms.

Ambassador Vygaudas Usackas, Head of EU Delegation to the Russian Federation noted with pleasure: "These credit facilities provide an important, additional concrete instrument helping businesses and contribute to the development of EU/Russia relations which ultimately benefit our citizens".

The Partnership for Modernisation, launched at the 25th EU-Russia Summit in 2010, serves as a flexible framework for encouraging reform, boosting growth and fostering competitiveness. All of these objectives 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. To date, the EIB has extended 7 loans to support the Partnership for Modernisation, for a total amount of EUR 1.1 billion.