BERLIN The head of the European Investment Bank said on Thursday his institute would not provide projects in Russia with funding that had been planned for this year and the coming years now that European leaders have expanded their sanctions on Moscow.
EU leaders said on Wednesday the new sanctions would target companies that undermine Ukrainian sovereignty and asked the EIB - the EU's bank - and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to suspend new lending.
"Our task, as the EU's bank, is to implement the political guidelines of our shareholders - the member states. So it's absolutely clear that we will follow the decision made by the European Council yesterday," EIB president Werner Hoyer told Reuters.
He said the bank had planned to provide Russian projects with further loans of around 600 million euros this year but would no longer do so.
He said the bank would also no longer be able to give projects in Russia the 700 million to 1 billion euros annually it had planned to assign them for the coming years.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)