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PRESIDENT PUTIN AND EX-IM BANK OFFICIALS SIGN UNDERSTANDING TO LAUNCH PARALLEL FINANCING OF EXPORTS TO OTHER COUNTRIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 25, 2003

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Today, September 26, 2003, within the framework of the official visit of the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin to the United States, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. Ex-Im Bank), the Bank For Foreign Economic Affairs of the USSR (Vnesheconombank), and State Specialized Russian Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank of Russia) signed the Parallel Financing Cooperation Understanding.

The Understanding expresses a strong commitment by the Parties to establish a framework for enhanced and long-term cooperation with a view of facilitating Russian and U.S. exports of capital goods and services to third countries.

The Understanding envisages cooperation in project financing in third countries, with specific reference to the following areas: exchanging information and consulting on terms and conditions of potential projects to be implemented in third countries on a parallel basis; information exchange in the field of structured finance; and mutual assistance in other areas of project and trade finance.

Hopefully, the Understanding will be a significant leverage in both countries' exports promotion drive and give a fresh impetus to expanding joint business ventures. We are fairly confident the Understanding will be a hallmark event opening a window opportunity for ours banks cooperation in new areas, said Vnesheconombank' s Chairman Vladimir Chernukhin.

We are very pleased to be signing this new agreement with Vnesheconombank, said U.S. Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. Vnesheconombank has been our partner for the last ten years in Russia and we look forward to expanding our cooperation to develop projects in third countries.

In fact, U.S. Ex-Im Bank and Vnesheconombank have had established a successful partnership since 1992 when the first framework cooperation agreement was signed. Since then, more than 30 individual projects totaling $1.2 billion have been successfully financed.

Founded in 1924, Vnesheconombank is a specialized state financial institution. It serves as a major financial institution of the Russian government in servicing major state projects launched within the territory of Russia and beyond.

Established in 1994, Eximbank of Russia is designed to be a key state policy financial instrument supporting domestic exports promotion.

U.S. Ex-Im Bank, founded in 1934, is the official U.S. export credit agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. goods and services, primarily to emerging markets, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2002, U.S. Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support approximately $13 billion of U.S exports worldwide.

Vnesheconombank and U.S. Ex-Im Bank
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