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[WASHINGTON] The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will not replace the development bank for the BRICS bloc of large emerging economies, Russia's central bank governor said on Thursday, following a meeting of the bank's representatives.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov also said the representatives from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa had reached agreement on launching the bank ahead of their leaders' summit in July.
The expanding membership of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank prompted speculation the new initiative will take the wind out of the sails of the BRICS development bank, which also aims at funding infrastructure and has been slow in reaching agreement on money and management. "These are not alternatives; they rather complement each other," Russian central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina told reporters when asked about the AIIB. "I don't think there's less energy (around the BRICS bank), we didn't feel that. To the contrary, all the representatives of all the countries ... were very motivated to reach speedy practical results." Brazil also has seen progress on the BRICS bank and views its launch as a priority for the bloc.
Mr Siluanov said the BRICS countries were launching the bank before July, which required ratification from each country. Russia has already ratified it, and is expected to commit US$2 billion to the fund.
India will appoint the president of the BRICS bank, and a Russian representative will chair the board of governors.
When asked who will represent Russia, Mr Siluanov said: "He's standing before you."