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FT: Western banks may be allowed to sell businesses to sanctioned Russians

Western banks are considering selling their business in Russia to individuals or legal entities that are under sanctions, writes the Financial Times, citing sources. Also, according to the publication, credit institutions are considering the option of an asset swap.

In fact, we were told that we could sell the assets to a sanctioned person or organization if they meet certain criteria ,” said a representative of one of the banks, adding that the credit institution is unlikely to agree to the sale.

The publication also writes that banks can negotiate with Russian buyers who have business in the West on the exchange of assets. The newspaper cites as an example two Russian banks that were on the sanctions list – VTB and Sberbank. At the same time, according to FT sources, the American bank Citigroup and the Italian UniCredit are currently looking for opportunities to conclude deals with Russian financial institutions that are not subject to restrictions.

The United States, European Union, Great Britain imposed various sanctions against Russia in response to the military operation in Ukraine. The restrictions also affected large Russian banks — Sberbank, Alfa-Bank, VTB, Promsvyazbank and others. Several banks, including VTB and Promsvyazbank, have been disconnected from the SWIFT international financial information exchange system.

In early May, it became known that as part of the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia, even more banks, including Sberbank, could be disconnected from the SWIFT system. In addition, it is planned to introduce a complete ban on the purchase of Russian oil.

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