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China turns back on Putin: Beijing bank withdraws Russia support


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China turns back on Putin: Beijing bank...

With sanctions freezing much of Russia’s foreign reserves and the country largely cut off from international finance China has been viewed as a potential lifeline to Putin.
However, in a further indication of Russia’s growing pariah status, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has announced it will halt all activity with both Russia and Belarus.
In a statement, the bank 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 added: “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 AIIB was launched in Beijing in 2016 and describes its mission as financing “the infrastructure of tomorrow”, although it has widely been seen as a counter to the dominance of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

It currently has 105 approved members with China remaining as the largest shareholder, controlling 26.5 percent of voting rights.

Russia is its third largest shareholder, after India, and holds a seat on the board of directors.

“Do we approve that loan to that one entity? It’s not the best thing to do at the moment, is it?”

China is thought to be concerned about falling foul of sanctions itself and damaging its own financial links to the west if it is seen to be helping Russia get round the restrictions.

Although it has stopped short of condemning Russia, the Chinese foreign ministry called on “all sides to exercise restraint” on Friday after Russian forces began an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

A spokesman said Beijing was “very concerned” about the situation.

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A MAJOR Beijing based lender has announced it is suspending activities with Russia and Belarus as Vladimir Putin increasingly looks to China for support.

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