PRESS RELEASE

Signing of a protocol on Central Bank Training in Russia

13 October 2003

On 13 October 2003, Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg, President of the European Central Bank (ECB), His Excellency Richard Wright, Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Russia, and Mr. Sergey Ignatiev, Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), signed a protocol in Moscow welcoming the signing of a contract for a project in Russia entitled "Central Bank Training". Within the framework of Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States, the "TACIS" programme, the European Union will fund this EUR 3 million two-year project, which will be launched on 1 November 2003.

The project will be implemented through a co-ordinated "Eurosystem approach" involving the ECB, in partnership with national central banks (NCBs) of the euro area, and EU non-central bank supervisors. The ECB will co-ordinate the programme through a team of three staff members, one of whom will be stationed in Moscow, while nine NCBs and three EU non-central bank supervisors will assign experts to provide the training to experts from the CBR in Russia.

Specifically, the project seeks to help the CBR enhance its capacity in the field of banking supervision by transferring knowledge relating to sound practices employed by European banking supervisors. The wider objective of this major technical assistance project is to foster the stability of the Russian banking system.

[Introductory Statement by Dr. Willem F. Duisenberg]

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