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World Bank halts all programs in Russia, Belarus -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A participant poses near the logo of World Bank during the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Annual Meeting 2018, in Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia), October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – The World Bank announced Wednesday that it has stopped all Russian and Belarusian programs with immediate effect following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The multilateral development bank stated in a statement that it has not approved new loans or investments to Russia since 2014. This was the year Russia annexed Crimea, Ukraine.

According to the bank, it has not authorized any additional lending to Belarus from mid-2020 since the United States placed sanctions against the country in response to a dispute over the presidential election.

According to the World Bank’s website in Belarus, their 2020 loan commitments totaled $308,000,000. These active projects include a biomass heating plant, forestry development work, and education modernizations.

Since 1990, Russia has been lent more than $16billion by the World Bank. According to the bank’s website, the most recent approved projects include a North Caucasus youth program that was launched in 2013, and a program for cultural heritage dating back 10 years ago.

All programs in Russia or Belarus were halted today, just days after World Bank and International Monetary Fund leaders said that they were racing for billions of dollars in additional financing to Ukraine within the next weeks and months.

After the invasion of Ukraine, Russia was hit by the United States of America, Britain, and other countries.

Additionally, they have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on many Russians including President Vladimir Putin.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation.”

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