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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Russian economy minister criticizes EBRD freeze on project financing in Russia

Russian Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev blasted the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD) freeze on financing of new projects in Russia, saying the move contradicts the goals of international development institutions.

Such actions, based on recommendations by the European Council's sanctions, are unconstructive and "can seriously damage the bank, its customers and long-term interests of all shareholders," Ulyukaev told EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti at a meeting, ITAR-TASS reports.

"A majority of the Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), including all EU member states and several non-EU shareholders, have given clear guidance to the EBRD management that, for the time being, they will be unable to approve new investment projects in the Russian Federation," the EBRD said in its decision last week.

The European Council instructed the European Investment Bank (EIB) on July 17 to suspend new financial transactions in Russia and to revise support for programs financed in the EU's last budget.

Last year, the EBRD and EIB allocated approximately $2.5 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively, for projects in Russia, according to ITAR-TASS.