The New Development Bank (NDB), the China-based multilateral bank established by the BRICS countries, on Thursday said it has put new transactions in Russia on hold, even as Russia escalates its attack on Ukraine.
In light of unfolding uncertainties and restrictions, NDB has put new transactions in Russia on hold. NDB will continue to conduct business in full conformity with the highest compliance standards as an international institution,” the bank said in a statement posted on its website.
“The NDB applies sound banking principles in all its operations, as stated in its Articles of Agreement,” it said.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa or BRICS are the founding members of the NDB.
It is the second China-based multilateral bank after the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to stop its projects in Russia and Belarus following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
The NDB was established in 2015 by the BRICS countries to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies. The multilateral development bank has its headquarters at Shanghai.
The US and Europe have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in their attempts to deepen the country’s economic isolation following the attack on Ukraine.
The China-backed AIIB said on Thursday that it has put on hold and is reviewing all activities relating to Russia and Belarus in the wake of the current conflict in Ukraine.
In a statement announcing the freeze and review, the AIIB referred to the situation as “war in Ukraine”, the closest to “invasion” that any Chinese government-affiliated institution has until now described the situation in the east European country.
“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,” read a statement published on the website of the Beijing-based lender.
Officially, China has continued to refer to Russia’s actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and also strongly opposed economic sanctions against its strategic ally. China is a major buyer of Russian oil and gas and has refrained from criticising Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.
Beijing opposes the sanctions, Guo Shuqing, the chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said on Thursday.
“We will not join such sanctions, and we will keep normal economic, trade and financial exchange with all the relevant parties. We disapprove of the financial sanctions, particularly those launched unilaterally, because they don’t have much legal basis and will not have good effects,” Guo said at a press conference.