EU freezes assets of 4 Russian banks – POLITICO

Four Russian banks will be banned from doing business in the EU under the bloc’s latest round of sanctions against Moscow for waging war on Ukraine.

Bank assets were also frozen, according to a press release released by the European Commission on Friday, which failed to name the specific lenders. Those details will emerge in a few hours as EU officials finish putting together the final paperwork. Banks have already been bailed out of SWIFT, an international payments platform central to conducting transactions.

This fifth round of sanctions, along with another in the works, is Brussels’ latest attempt to shut Russia out of the world’s financial markets and inflict as much economic suffering as possible. The targeted four lenders represent 23 percent of the Russian banking sector. The package also includes an import ban on Russian coal and will prevent Russian-flagged ships from entering European ports.

Additionally, the EU is introducing new restrictions on crypto companies providing services to Russians in Europe, amid concerns that oligarchs could use the market to move their fortunes. The exact details will follow later. And wealth managers and financiers are forbidden from advising rich Russians.

Other measures include ending financial support to Russian public institutions. Belarusian and Russian companies or individuals will also be banned from buying banknotes or transferable securities such as shares and bonds denominated in any of the official EU currencies.

“These latest sanctions were adopted following the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha and elsewhere under Russian occupation,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a council Explanation. “The aim of our sanctions is to stop the reckless, inhumane and aggressive behavior of Russian troops and to make it clear to decision-makers in the Kremlin that their unlawful aggression comes at a high cost.” EU freezes assets of 4 Russian banks – POLITICO

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