World Bank (WB) said on Tuesday that Russia is consulting with its allies about challenging the U.S. nominee to head the World Bank, which could complicate what was believed to be a smooth process of succession.
WB puts all programs in Russia and Belarus on hold last March due to what it called “hostilities against the people of Ukraine.” However, Russia is still a voting member at the bank.
Roman Marshavin, WB’s executive director representing Russia and Syria, said that the “listing of potential candidates and consultations are still ongoing,” according to Reuters.
However, he gave no details other than that the decision will be made in Moscow. The Russian plan was first reported by TASS news agency, the Russian state-owned agency.
Last month, U.S President Joe Biden nominated Ajay Banga, former Mastercard Chief Executive Officer, to replace David Malpass in the World Bank.
Banga said he already won support from India, Kenya, and Ghana, as well as some positive reviews from France and Germany, in addition to the endorsement of Bangladesh.
Since its founding by the end of the Second World War, the World Bank has been headed by Americans.
According to Reuters, a challenge from Russia is unlikely to change the outcome. However, it can expose tensions between the U.S., Western nations, and China.