Mar 2, 2022 - Economy & Business

World Bank halts programs in Russia, Belarus

Photo of Vladimir Putin's side profile as he sits in a chair

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with the head of Russia's Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a big business lobby group, at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 2. Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

The World Bank Group has halted its programs in Russia and Belarus amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The big picture: The World Bank had partnered with Russia to help the country boost its economy and expand its role in the international domain. It's the latest organization to cut ties as Russian forces continue to barrel down on Ukrainians.

  • The move is effective immediately.
  • "The World Bank Group has not approved any new loans to or investments in Russia since 2014," the financial institution said in a release Wednesday. "There has also been no new lending approved to Belarus since mid-2020."

What they're saying: In a statement released Tuesday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group president David Malpass said that they are "deeply shocked and saddened by the devastating human and economic toll brought by the war in Ukraine."

  • "Our institutions are working together to support Ukraine on the financing and policy fronts and are urgently increasing that support," the statement noted.
  • "The World Bank and the IMF are also working together to assess the economic and financial impact of the conflict and refugees on other countries in the region and the world," they added.
  • "Coordinated international action will be crucial to mitigate risks and navigate the treacherous period ahead. This crisis affects the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, and we offer them our full support."

Worth noting: The World Bank is preparing a $350 million disbursement to Ukraine that will be submitted to its board this week.

  • Last week, a World Bank adviser became the first Russian official to resign from a leading role at an international body in protest of the war, according to the Financial Times.
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