At the same time, EBRD president Jean Lemierre refused to name the package of shares the EBRD was claiming. "We are so close to reaching a decision that I can't tell you this," he told RIA Novosti.
Kudrin and Lemierre met yesterday in the framework of the World Economic Forum coming to an end in Davos.
As for the terms of the possible deal, in Lemierre's words, it can be completed before Russia's presidential elections scheduled for March 14. Kudrin agrees with him: "I believe the decision itself may be announced before presidential elections. It would be desirable. But it depends on the resolution of a number of technical issues." The EBRD continues negotiations with Vneshtorgbank management and Russia's government that owns 99.9% of Vneshtorgbank stock.
Jean Lemierre added that the EBRD is ready to invest in 2004 in Russia's economy no less than 1.2 billion euros.
"We are probably the largest investor in Russia. Last year, we invested over 1.2 billion euros and are going to invest at least the same sum this year," he said.