EBRD annual meeting to discuss Russia lending halt

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Russia has asked for a top level discussion over the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s 2014 ban on new Russia lending at the bank’s upcoming meeting in Cyprus next month, an EBRD source told Reuters on Thursday.

“There is likely to be discussion at the annual meeting,” the source, who requested anonymity, said. “It isn’t about EBRD re-engagement in Russia, it is about whether the EBRD was compliant with its own rules when board directors gave their political guidance.”

The bank’s directors gave a “guidance” to halt new investment in Russia in 2014 following the imposition of Western sanctions against Moscow for its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Russia has already taken the issue to the bank’s London-based board of directors, but by raising it at the annual meeting it will mean it is discussed by national finance ministers and central bank heads that act as EBRD ‘governors’.

“This has already been discussed once in the board of directors and it was found the bank was compliant (with its rules) it is hard to imagine that this situation has changed,” the source added.

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