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The US may impose new sanctions against European banks as they continue to work in Russia

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The United States is considering strengthening secondary sanctions for European banks still operating in Russia.

This was stated by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in an interview with Reuters.

«We are considering strengthening our sanctions against banks doing business in Russia», – Yellen said.

However, she refused to provide specific information on this statement and did not name any banks that may be subject to restrictions.

Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 financial leaders’ meeting in Italy, Yellen said that sanctions related to banks’ activities in Russia would be imposed only «when there are grounds for it,» noting that «working in Russia creates a very big risk.»

Answering a question about the possible withdrawal of Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International and Italian bank UniCredit from Russia, the minister expressed hope that their behavior would be «very cautious.»

The US Treasury Department also believes that the Russian economy is increasingly becoming a «war economy,» which makes it difficult to differentiate between civilian and military dual-use operations, Ukrinform reports.

Although secondary sanctions have cooled European banks’ cooperation with Russia, Yellen expressed concern that the aggressor country is finding ways to acquire goods needed to increase military production through transactions with China, the UAE, and Turkey, the article says.

Last year, the seven largest Western banks that remained in Russia paid more than 800 million euros in taxes to Russia.

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