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Russia is planning to loan 1 billion U.S. dollars to the Lebanese banking system for 30 years to restore confidence in the country’s banking sector, al-Akhbar newspaper reported Thursday.

Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab and Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin discussed the step in the past two days, said al-Akhbar.

The loan may also be offered as a donation to Lebanon if officials show transparency in using the money, it added.

Russia is also considering opening a bank in Lebanon or investing in one of the local banks, according to the report.

The Lebanese banking sector has been suffering from a shortage in dollar mainly because of the drop in remittances from Lebanese expatriates.

Many economists expect the Lebanese authorities to seek funding by the International Monetary Fund amid difficulties in financing its expenses in 2020. Enditem

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