The World Bank is closing programs in Russia and Belarus

The World Bank announced on Wednesday that it was suspending all programs in Russia and Belarus, citing “hostile actions against the people of Ukraine.”

The banking organization, with 189 member states around the world, has not approved new loans or investments in Russia since 2014, when the country annexed the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine or Belarus in 2020, following a contested presidential election. according to a press release.

The decision comes as a number of countries, organizations and businesses cut ties with Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine last week, as well as with Belarus for its support and co-operation with Moscow.

After Russia invaded last week, World Bank President David Malpas condemned the attack, saying the group was “horrified by the shocking violence and loss of life as a result of events unfolding in Ukraine”.

“We are a long-term partner of Ukraine and we stand by its people at this critical time,” Malpas said in a statement. statement.

On Tuesday, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, said she was considering Ukraine’s request for emergency financing, while another program gave the nation access to $ 2.2 billion by the end of June.

The World Bank Group also announced on Tuesday that it was providing a $ 3 billion support package to help Ukraine.

Both financial groups are considering other options to help the war-torn region and neighboring countries, especially those hosting more than 600,000 Ukrainian refugees.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the devastating human and economic damage caused by the war in Ukraine,” the IMF and the World Bank said in a statement. joint statement.

“People have been killed, wounded and forced to flee, and the country’s physical infrastructure is being severely damaged. We are with the Ukrainian people during these horrific events. “