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WASHINGTON, May 22. /TASS/. Projects for Russia will be considered by the World Bank’s (WB) Board of Directors when the bank is ready to approve them, the WB press service told TASS on Thursday in response to a Russian Foreign Ministry comment on the issue circulated last week.
The World Bank’s written reply says, "Russia is an important member country of the World Bank Group. The World Bank Group has several projects under preparation for Russia. These projects are at different stages of preparation, with some being more advanced than others. Any new projects in the pipeline would be brought to the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors for consideration at the time when the Board will be in a position to approve."
The Russian Foreign Ministry comment contained a reminder that under the charter of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), which is the largest development bank in the world and part of the World Bank Group, "The Bank and its officers shall not interfere in the political relations of its members, and political issues should not influence decisions. Only the economic feasibility should be taken into account."
Russian diplomats said that six Russian projects, fully ready for approval, have "hung up" in the World Bank; two of them are purely humanitarian (the development of early childhood education and social adaptation of disadvantaged groups). They said: "If it turns out that the [WB] management associates itself with the attempts of a number of large shareholders to play the "geo-economic" games and set the WB political tasks above the economic ones, in this case above the strictly humanitarian tasks, this will entail not only the loss of face, but also provoke the international community’s interest in the newly created alterative institutions in the field of assistance to development." According to them, they referred, inter alia, to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the New Development Bank.