Framework Agreement with EIB may be Signed After Azerbaijan’s Status in Developing Cooperation is Determined

Azerbaijan, Baku, 23 May / corr. Trend I. Khalilova/ The Azerbaijani government has postponed the signing of the framework agreement with the European Investment Bank due to the fact that the status of Azerbaijan on the development of the cooperation with Bank has not been coordinated as yet, the Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan said on 23 May. The agreement was to be signed in April during the Bank's vice president's visit to Baku.

The next talks with the Bank will be held in Kiev this week, within the annual meeting of the EBRD managers. The Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan has worked out the final draft of the agreement with EBRD and the agreement will be signed if the position of Azerbaijan is coordinated.

"The Bank is restricting its membership and we must determine the status of our cooperation," a source in the Ministry said.

Azerbaijan aims to sign the contract as a partner. The Ministry of Economic Development does not rule out the possibility of signing the agreement by 2008 end. The agreement is expected to be ratified in the parliament after it is signed; therefore financing of projects by EIB in Azerbaijan will not happen any time soon. The Bank has announced that it is ready to finance railway transport worth $500mln in Azerbaijan.

EIB plans to finance projects out of the proceeds of the European Union within the European Neighboring Policy, therefore, the regional projects uniting several countries will be the top priority. EIB prefers financing infrastructure projects.

EBRD and EIB have announced their readiness to invest jointly in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, South Caucasus states and Central Asia. The EU can allocate $3.7bln by 2030, with 500mln euros annually.

The official exchange rate for 23 May is 0,8235 AZN/USD.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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