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US lifts part of sanctions against ten Russia's largest banks

The United States allows certain financial transactions with Russian banks
The United States allows certain financial transactions with Russian banks. Source: Flickr

The U.S. Treasury Department has authorized transactions with a number of Russian banks subject to international sanctions. The US authorities clarified that payments are allowed only in the energy sector.

According to the license issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the ban on transactions with banks on the blacklist will be lifted by November 1, 2024. The measure will affect the Central Bank of Russia and 9 other financial institutions, including:

  • Vnesheconombank (VEB)
  • Otkritie Bank
  • Sovcombank
  • Sberbank
  • VTB
  • Alfa Bank
  • Rosbank
  • Zenit Bank
  • Bank "Saint Petersburg"

Transactions with legal entities in which these banks directly or indirectly own 50% or more are also allowed.

Only transactions related to the energy sector, including the extraction, production, processing, liquefaction, gasification, regasification, conversion, enrichment, production, transportation or purchase of petroleum products (including crude oil, oil, condensate, liquefied natural gas, natural gas), coal, wood or agricultural products used in the production of biofuels or uranium, may be conducted with Russian banks. The license also covers the development, production, transmission or exchange of electricity, including nuclear, thermal and renewable energy sources.

At the same time, OFAC emphasized that opening accounts in sanctioned banks and conducting transactions not related to the energy sector is still prohibited.

As previously reported, Western banks that continued to operate in Russia in 2023 paid more than €800 million in taxes, four times more than in previous years. And Raiffeisen Bank International, UniCredit, ING, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, and OTP announced a total profit of more than €3 billion in 2023.

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