The decision is the latest sign of the limits of Beijing’s support for Moscow as it faces sanctions and censure over the war in Ukraine.
A Chinese-led development bank has suspended all business with Russia and Belarus, a possible sign of the limits of Beijing’s support for Moscow as it faces sanctions and censure for its war in Ukraine.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said it had suspended all activities related to the two countries in light of “the changing economic and financial situation”.
“Under these circumstances, and in the best interest of the Bank, management has decided that all activities related to Russia and Belarus are suspended and under review,” the Beijing-based institution said in a statement on Thursday.
The multilateral development bank, which has 105 members worldwide, did not specify the reasons for its decision, but expressed “our thoughts and sympathy to all those affected.
“Our thoughts are with all those who are suffering,” the bank said.
The announcement comes after several Chinese state-owned financial institutions, including the Bank of China, stopped financing Russian commodity deals.
Gary Ng, a senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong, said the AIIB’s decision was “symbolic” as the bank had only financed two projects in Russia to the tune of $800m and none in Belarus.
“Even though most of China’s cross-border lending to Russia can take place with political banks, this is yet another example that China cannot unconditionally support Russia as it would weigh its own benefits and costs of any geopolitical move,” Ng told Al Jazeera.
“The withdrawal from the AIIB shows that the pressure of global financial sanctions on Russia has become more apparent in supranational organisations,” Ng added.