World Bank ends programs in Russia and Belarus

Written by on March 3, 2022

The World Bank announced on Wednesday it was ending all programs in Russia and Belarus, citing “hostilities against the people of Ukraine.”

The banking organization, with 189 member countries across the globe, has not approved any new loans or investments in Russia since 2014, when the country annexed the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, or in Belarus since 2020, following a disputed presidential election, according to a press release.

The decision comes as a large number of countries, organizations and businesses are severing ties with Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week, and with Belarus for its support and cooperation with Moscow.

After Russia invaded last week, World Bank President David Malpass condemned the assault, saying the group was “horrified by the shocking violence and loss of life as a result of the events unfolding in Ukraine.”

“We are a long-standing partner of Ukraine and stand with its people at this critical moment,” Malpass said in a statement.

On Tuesday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said it was considering Ukraine’s request for emergency financing, while another program gave the nation access to $2.2 billion through the end of June.

The World Bank Group also announced on Tuesday it was providing a $3 billion support package to assist Ukraine.

Both financial groups are considering other options to assist the region and neighboring countries affected by the war, especially those taking in the more than 600,000 Ukrainian refugees.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the devastating human and economic toll brought by the war in Ukraine,” the IMF and World Bank said in a joint statement.

“People are being killed, injured, and forced to flee, and massive damage is caused to the country’s physical infrastructure. We stand with the Ukrainian people through these horrifying developments.”


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