European, Russian policymakers urge U.S. to pass bailout

A014683213.jpgFRANKFURT/MOSCOW (Reuters) – European and Russian policymakers urged U.S. politicians to pass a new version of a $700 billion bank rescue package on Wednesday as a new Senate vote on the bailout loomed.

The U.S. Senate agreed unanimously to vote on the revised package on Wednesday night, rekindling hopes of stemming the credit crisis and buoying stock markets.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said he was confident U.S. lawmakers would pass the package, which must also be approved by the House of Representatives.

“It has to go, for the sake of the U.S. and for the sake of global finance,” Trichet said in an interview with Bloomberg Television, published on its website.

Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of euro-zone finance ministers, also said the United States had to adopt the plan, which would allow the Treasury to buy toxic mortgage-related assets from banks.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the United States had to fulfill its responsibility to other countries.

“I think (U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry) Paulson’s plan is essential,” he said at a financial market conference organized by Vedomosti business daily.

“It is the responsibility of the United States to other countries.”

Troubles in the U.S. financial sector have spilled over into Russian markets, hitting banking shares and stocks more broadly, and making it virtually impossible for highly-leveraged companies to secure borrowing abroad to refinance debts.

Still, Trichet and Juncker played down the idea of a similar package in Europe.

“We are not a fully-fledged federation with a federal budget,” Trichet said. “Each country has to mobilize its own efforts.”

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