Russian banks are not afraid of U.S. threats

The initiative of U.S. senators may damage the reputation of New York as a global financial center

Four U.S. senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, urged the U.S. government to impose sanctions against several major Russian banks such as Gazprombank, VTB and VEB. The reason is that they fund, according to parliamentarians, the activities of the Syrian authorities.

As stated in a letter to senators in the U.S. Treasury, EBV makes payments for the delivery to Syria Russian missile systems S-300, Gazprombank provides financial channel to pay for deliveries of Syrian oil, and VTB keeps the accounts of President Bashar al-Assad.

— The Senators are misleading the American public in our bank accounts, there is no guidance Syria — told in the press service of VTB. — For information to us one of America did not apply, so we believe this initiative an attempt to further dramatize the situation and disrupt the emerging Syrian peace process.

As explained in the press service of the bank, Vnesheconombank historically acts as agent for the government in terms of servicing the external debt of Russia, including settlements with Damascus. The Bank does not carry out any other business with the Central Bank of Syria, its government or entities that are controlled by them. All the activities of VEB is strictly in accordance with the sanctions adopted by the EU and the UN on the Syrian Arab Republic.

Russian experts are wondering how all possible sanctions.

— Four senators — this is not the entire Senate — said General Director of Finance and Banking Council of CIS Paul Nefidov. — And most importantly — Russian banks work within the framework of international agreements. And from a legal point of view, keeping Syrian assets in Russian banks did not violate any rules.

However, according to Nefidov, U.S. threats very unpleasant for the Russian side. And they, by the way, undermine the status of New York as an international financial center, as there is a question as it is subject to international standards, rather than the interests of the political movements in the country.

— Just because you can not impose sanctions, it is contrary to international standards — said the adviser criminal practice law office "Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners" Ahmad Glashev. — Banks will have every right to go to court. To apply the prohibitions, we must first prove that the Russian financial institutions financed terrorism, human trafficking or something illegal. And cooperation with Syria in the framework of agreements — a completely normal process.

By the way, like a lawyer, Washington also has a trade and economic agreement with Damascus, and they continue to operate.

But even if the sanctions were imposed, it is unlikely to be dealt a severe blow to the Russian banks.

— The disadvantage would be to additional costs as part of dollar transactions was to transfer from the U.S. correspondent accounts with financial institutions in other countries — said Nefidov. — Our banks would run through Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, because of what America has lost a big chunk of financial transactions.

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