The Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has announced that “all activities relating to Russia and Belarus are on hold and under review” following the Russian invasion of Ukraine last week.
A statement released by the bank today said: “As the war in Ukraine unfolds, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) extends its thoughts and sympathy to everyone affected. Our hearts go out to all who are suffering.”
It went on: “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.”
Russia is a founding member of the development bank and contributed 6.7% to its capitalisation. Neither Ukraine nor Belarus are members, however the bank said it was “ready to extend financing flexibly and quickly and support members who have been adversely impacted by the war, directly or indirectly”.
The South China Morning Post comments that this statement, which described the invasion of the Ukraine as a “war”, goes further than the descriptions used by other institutions linked to China, which have tended to use the Kremlin’s preferred term of “military operation”.