US hits Russia's largest bank, energy sector with sanctions

GMT 15:24 2014 Friday ,12 September

Arab Today, arab today US hits Russia's largest bank, energy sector with sanctions

Branch of Sberbank in Donetsk
Washington - AFP

The United States hit Russia's top bank and leading energy and technology companies with sanctions Friday, to punish Moscow for supporting separatist rebels in Ukraine.
In the latest sanctions, Washington slapped tight controls on financing for Sberbank, pipeline giant Transneft, energy firms Lukoil, Gazprom, Gazpromneft and Surgutneftgas and state technology group Rostec.
The White House actions followed similar sanctions imposed by Europe aimed at placing pressure on the Russian economy over the country's interference in neighboring Ukraine.
"Given Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine, we have deepened our sanctions against Russia today, in concert with our European allies," said US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.
"These steps underscore the continued resolve of the international community against Russia’s aggression."
The US sanctions ban American entirities from offering anything but short-term financing to the Russian companies listed, a move that could restrict their business activities and long-term planning.
For example, and US citizen or group is not allowed to lend money to Sberbank for more 30 days maturity of the debt.
A similar 30-day financing restriction was put in place for dealings with Rostec.
For Lukoil, Gazprom, and Surgutneftgas, US entities are blocked from providing any support, materials or technology for any oil and gas exploration projects involving the Arctic region, offshore anywhere or shale-based resources.
The same restrictions were also applied to oil giant Rosneft, which was already listed under a previous round of sanctions.
“Russia's economic and diplomatic isolation will continue to grow as long as its actions do not live up to its words," said Lew.
"Russia’s economy is already paying a heavy price for its unlawful behavior. Growth has fallen to near zero, inflation is well above target, and Russian financial markets continue to deteriorate."


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