The China-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has frozen all business with links to Russia and Belarus due to the current situation in Ukraine, reports the Financial Times. The decision by the development bank has implications for relations between China and Russia, who are major trading partners. China is AIIB’s largest shareholder.
The Beijing-based bank on Thursday said it would “safeguard its financial integrity” and assess the impact of Ukraine on its operations and members’ economies. AIIB was founded with an official stance of neutrality. However, its move to freeze lending to Russia and Belarus demonstrates the growing pressure on global financial institutions to cut ties with Russian projects and individuals over the situation in Ukraine.
New Development Bank, a Shanghai-based lender in Asia with much higher exposure to Russia, also announced on Thursday that it had put new transactions in Russia on hold in light of the Ukraine situation.