The report says the US is quietly asking big banks like JPMorgan and Citi to continue doing business with some Russian companies

On Monday, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, that US officials are quietly asking major banks to continue doing business with some Russian companies, despite Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Treasury and State Department officials are urging companies including JPMorgan and Citigroup to continue to provide services to some Russian companies that are partially exempt from sanctions on the Russian economy, according to the report.

The motive was said to be to reduce the possibilities of a global economic crisis.

Sources told Bloomberg that the Russian companies include state-owned gas giant Gazprom and fertilizer producer Uralkali.

Officials are asking banks to continue providing essential services to businesses, such as US dollar settlement, payment transfers and trade finance offers, according to Bloomberg.

Treasury and State Department representatives did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

At a congressional hearing on September 21, CEOs of major US banks came under scrutiny over their dealings in Russia.

At the hearing, when members of Congress were asked if his bank would cut ties with Russian companies, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon responded, “We’re following the U.S. government’s instructions as they’ve asked us to do so,” Bloomberg reported.

JPMorgan did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Citigroup declined to comment.

“Congress needs to understand this – the US government has not imposed a blanket embargo on Russia, and there are still trade enclaves allowed,” Nednma Evodo Noweki, an attorney who specializes in economic sanctions and trade embargoes, said in an interview with Bloomberg. .

Nowicki said officials would “continue to hold meetings to educate banks on the pockets of permitted transactions”.

Ukrainian officials have denounced the leaders of major Western banks, who said in July they would be indicted for war crimes.

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine, against the Ukrainians,” Oleg Ustenko, economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told CNBC, adding that they would pass the information on to the International Criminal Court.

“By our reasoning, whoever finances these war criminals who do these terrible things in Ukraine are also committing war crimes,” he added.

The ICC has the power to prosecute people, not entities.


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