Serbian PM promises to 'beg' Chinese to buy troubled copper mine

October 30, 2016 7:26 AM EDT

File Photo: Overview of the copper complex RTB Bor smelter in the eastern Serbian town of Bor some 250km south east of Belgrade October 26, 2007. REUTERS/Ivan Milutinovic

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BELGRADE (Reuters) - Serbia's prime minister told reporters he would do everything in his power to find a buyer for heavily indebted state copper mine RTB Bor, even going so far as to "beg the Chinese" to buy it.

Serbia is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund to streamline, sell or shutter its many loss-making state enterprises, an outcome the government, facing presidential elections next year, wants to avoid.

"I will ask the biggest Chinese company to buy RTB Bor," he told reporters at a press briefing in connection with a visit by an IMF mission. "There's no one else who will buy it. I will beg Chinese leader Li Keqiang for that."

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt, editing by Larry King)

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