Russian Finance Ministry Supports Bulgarian Kristalina Georgieva for IMF Head

Russia will support the candidacy of Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva for the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vestnik Kavkaza reported citing a statement on the Ministry of Finance’s website.

For the first time in the 75-year history of the fund, it may be headed by a representative of a country whose economy belongs to the “emerging markets,” the Russian ministry’s statement reads.

“Russia has a positive attitude towards the nomination of Georgieva and will be ready to support her during the voting,” the ministry said.

“Georgieva is a brilliant diplomat, a fully trained economist, a competent and highly professional financier. In a situation of growing protectionism in the global economy, her experience in solving problems of development will be more useful than ever,” it added.

According to media reports, Germany is optimistic that Bulgaria’s Georgieva will become the head of the International Monetary Fund, and does not expect Georgieva’s age to stand in the way of her becoming IMF head, a spokeswoman for the German Finance Ministry said on Monday.

On Friday, EU governments selected 65-year-old Georgieva as a candidate for the IMF bloc after more than 12 hours of talks. At that time, most EU Member States supported Georgieva, although her candidacy would require a change in IMF rules that require the managing director of the fund to be younger than 65 when appointed to this important post.

The managing director of the IMF has traditionally been a European, while the head of its sister organization, the World Bank, has been a U.S. citizen. Georgieva would take over from Christine Lagarde, who has resigned to head up the European Central Bank.

After the vote, Georgieva said she would be taking a leave of absence from her World Bank responsibilities during the IMF nomination period.