Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank puts Russia, Belarus projects ‘on hold’

The AIIB said in a statement it “is a multilateral organisation created by an international treaty, and adherence to international law lies at the very core of our institution”

March 03, 2022 08:09 pm | Updated 10:38 pm IST - Hong Kong:

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) president Jin Liqun. File

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) president Jin Liqun. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Thursday it was putting on hold and reviewing all projects in Russia and Belarus. The move comes amid sweeping sanctions and other financial measures aimed at Russia from a number of countries over its invasion of Ukraine. China is the AIIB’s largest shareholder with a 26.5% voting share. India is the second-largest, with 7.5%, followed by Russia, which has a 5.97% voting share. Belarus is also a member of the bank, which is headed by China’s Jin Liqun. Former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel is a Vice President of the bank.

The AIIB said in a statement it “is a multilateral organisation created by an international treaty, and adherence to international law lies at the very core of our institution.” “AIIB Management believes that multilateralism provides the best framework for countries to cooperate in dealing with common challenges and supporting development,” the bank said. “Our bank is actively monitoring the situation and assessing its impact on AIIB’s operations and our members’ economies. We the management will do our utmost to safeguard the financial integrity of AIIB, against the backdrop of the evolving economic and financial situation. Under these circumstances, and in the best interests of the bank, management has decided that all activities relating to Russia and Belarus are on hold and under review.” The bank said it “stands ready to extend financing flexibly and quickly and support members who have been adversely impacted by the war, directly or indirectly.” “Economic spillover from commodity price shocks, financial market volatility and other factors may adversely impact our members’ economic situation. We will work closely with our partner multilateral organisations to provide any needed support expeditiously,” the bank said. China and India, the bank’s two biggest shareholders, have abstained from United Nations resolutions backed by the West criticising Russia for the invasion. Both have also not backed calls for sanctions.

Earlier this week, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba that Beijing was “highly concerned” about the damage done to civilians and was prepared to “support all constructive efforts” to find a political settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.  The phone call on Tuesday was the first high-level contact between Ukraine and China. Beijing has expressed growing concerns about the violence and the safety of its nationals in Ukraine. It has at the same time reiterated its backing of Russia’s broader “security concerns” and blamed NATO and the U.S. for fuelling tensions. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday said so far more than 3,000 Chinese citizens had been evacuated to neighbouring countries. The ministry also hit out at a report in the New York Times, citing Western intelligence officials, saying China had been told by Russia about its plans and had asked Moscow to wait until the end of the Winter Olympics on February 20. The invasion began on February 24. The Foreign Ministry said the report was “pure fake news” and “such a practice of diverting attention and blameshifting is despicable.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.