MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian news agency reports that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the government will borrow $1.9 billion to save the troubled carmaker AvtoVAZ.
ITAR-Tass quoted Putin as saying Tuesday that the money will be used to pay off the company's massive bond float and prevent massive firings.
AvtoVAZ is Russia's largest carmaker and has been losing money for years.
It plans to lay off a quarter of its 102,000 workers.
It has seen demand for its Lada cars fall sharply in 2009 due to the economic downturn.
The carmaker reported a 19.6 billion ruble ($668 million) loss in the January-June period this year.