Non-Russian Russian bank

IIB’s leadership often denies that the bank should be categorized as a ‘Russian’ bank and it claims that it is an international organization. However, Andras Racz of Hungarian think tank Political Capital reviewed the founding documents of IIB and concluded that its management and decision-making are both dominated by Russia. He told VSquare reporters that, according to these documents, the day-to-day management of the bank (lending, hiring, financial operations) is completely controlled by its Russian chairman, Kosov. This is usual for bank management. However, the supervisory structures of IIB (the board of governors and the board of directors) are also controlled by Russia because at these levels all decisions need to be made by a ¾ majority, for which country representatives’ votes count based on their country’s shares in IIB. As Russia has more than 46 percent of the shares, this means that no decision can be taken against Russia’s will.

The Kremlin’s influence over the allegedly independent international bank is raising many concerns among foreign diplomats, historians, analysts and political commentators, especially in Hungary. They are all afraid IIB might be a tool for the Kremlin to base intelligence agents inside the EU under the bank’s cover and that IIB might be a tool for money-laundering. Renowned Hungarian historian Krisztián Ungváry, for example, said in a  interview that letting IIB into the country was equal to ‘treason’ and that ‘the management of the bank are most probably undercover intelligence agents.’

Press conference of Viktor Orban and Vladimir Putin on Russian-Hungarian talks, source: Wikimedia