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    A Russian delegation has left for Washington to discuss Russia's integration into the Asian and Pan-American development banks and Afghan debt settlement, a source in the delegation said Friday.

    WASHINGTON, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian delegation has left for Washington to discuss Russia's integration into the Asian and Pan-American development banks and Afghan debt settlement, a source in the delegation said Friday.

    On April 14-15 the IMF and the World Bank will hold a spring session for G7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs to discuss global economy issues, IMF reform and African development.

    The source said: "Many [participants] have expressed their willingness to meet with Russian delegates, including U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernarke, which is unprecedented." The source said it could suggest that Russia's international reserves and financial authority were being taken into account.

    The Russian delegation led by Russia's deputy finance minister Sergei Storchak and Central Bank Chairman Sergei Ignatyev, will attend several meetings of the G7, which comprises the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Japan and Canada.

    Among other things, Storchak and Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Robert Kimmitt are due to discuss Iraqi debt settlement and Russia's integration in the Pan-American Development Bank, while Russia and Japan could discuss integration into the Asian Development Bank, the source said.

    Russia's integration into the two development banks will enable the country to take part in discussions on Asian and American energy and transportation programs, with Russian companies invited to take part in tenders for the implementation of such programs.

    "This would promote our interests in the regions," the source said.

    The Russian delegate said although Storchak had earlier said a bilateral agreement on the settlement of Afghanistan's $10 billion debt to the former USSR could be signed in Washington, this could not take place yet as the documentation had not been finalized.

    "We could sign [the agreement] in Moscow in a week," he said.

    Russian delegates will also meet with Afghan, Indian, Lebanese and Spanish officials.

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