US keeps sanction pressure on Raiffeisen in Russia

By bne IntelliNews March 8, 2024

Anna Morris, a top US Treasury official focused on illicit money flows, will encourage banks in Austria to examine their Russian exposure and "take mitigation measures", according to the latest report by Reuters.

As covered in detail by bne IntelliNews, RBI came under heavy regulatory pressure to come up with an exit plan from Russia, the country where it made 60% of its net profit last year.

RBI has scaled down its Russian business and is reportedly considering the sale of the business as a whole.

But most recent reports suggested that in reality RBI is delaying plans to leave Russia, hoping that the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine will end before the bank will have to cave in to sanctions pressure and scrap its presence in the country.

Reportedly, during her visit to Austria, Morris will encourage the Austrian banks to "protect themselves from trade related to Russia's military industrial base, or risk being cut off from the US financial system," Reuters reports citing the US embassy in Vienna.

In the end of 2023 reports suggested that Austria is seeking to remove Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from a Ukrainian blacklist of sponsors of the full-scale military invasion of Ukraine in return for supporting the latest EU sanctions on Russia.

Reportedly, Austria and RBI were pushing for the bank to be taken off a Ukrainian list dubbed "international sponsors of war"  which puts pressure on companies to stop doing business in Russia and indirectly supporting the war effort by paying taxes and otherwise contributing to the aggressor’s economy.

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