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Switzerland supports the EBRD’s financing of the new sarcophagus in Chernobyl

Bern, 15.05.2008 - Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, Switzerland’s governor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will attend the 17th EBRD Annual Meeting on 18 and 19 May 2008 in Kiev, Ukraine. At the meeting the Board of Governors will adopt the nomination of Thomas Mirow to the presidency of the EBRD. For the first time, it will also consider allocating some of the bank’s annual profits towards specific activities, in particular the financing of the new sarcophagus in Chernobyl, instead of towards its reserves.

At this year's meeting, the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will be called on to appoint a successor to outgoing president, Mr. Jean Lemierre. The proposed candidate is Thomas Mirow, former State Secretary at the German Ministry of Finance. He will be the second German president of the EBRD.

With profits amounting to EUR 1.1 billion in 2007, the bank has demonstrated its sound management for the third consecutive year. Given that the EBRD has fulfilled its statutory duties in relation to its reserves, the Board of Governors will for the first time consider a proposal to distribute a portion (EUR 250 million) of its profits to other business, namely: i) a EUR 115 million fund, intended to finance technical assistance projects and to support the development of infrastructure. The main beneficiaries will be countries in which transition is least advanced; ii) a one-time allocation of EUR 135 million to two nuclear safety funds managed by the bank whose activities mainly concern the consolidation of safety at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. Switzerland supports these developments.

Switzerland considers the EBRD to be an important partner in implementing its development policy in eastern Europe. It provides co-financing, shareholdings and guarantees and also takes specific initiatives to support the EBRD in the implementation of its activities. In this way, Switzerland cooperates with the EBRD in a programme dealing with the flow of transfers to the Balkan countries.

Address for enquiries:

Ambassador Jörg Al. Reding, SECO, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development,
Tel. +41 (0)31 324 07 53

Publisher:

Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
Internet: http://www.wbf.admin.ch
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