The United States imposed sanctions against eight representatives of Sberbank and 27 from Gazprombank

The United States imposed sanctions against eight representatives of Sberbank, 27 managers of Gazprombank, and also announced restrictions on the Moscow Industrial Bank and ten of its subsidiaries, according to a statement published on the White House website. The US government noted that they do not plan to completely block Gazprombank, as well as freeze its assets and prohibit transactions with it. The sanctions also affected Channel One, Rossiya-1, and NTV.

The US has sanctioned eight executives from Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution of unique importance to the Russian economy, which holds about a third of Russia’s banking assets; 27 executives from Gazprombank, a large Russian bank that provides business for Gazprom, one of the world’s largest exporters of natural gas; and the Moscow Industrial Bank and ten of its subsidiaries.

A senior US official said Washington is being cautious because it is not interested in a complete shutdown of Gazprombank, which sells gas to Europe. But at the same time, the White House does not want this bank to seem like a “safe haven”, therefore, to create a “chilling effect”, sanctions are imposed only against certain top managers who “are at the top of the organization,” he added.

We are not imposing sanctions against Gazprombank, as we did with Sberbank, VTB, and other major banks. This is not a complete block. We do not freeze the assets of Gazprombank and do not prohibit any transactions with it, ” he explained.

According to a US administration official, Washington will also no longer supply video cameras, microphones, and sound equipment to three major state channels: Channel One, Rossiya-1, and NTV. In addition, US citizens and companies were banned from providing audit, consulting, and marketing services to Russian firms.

The White House also said that the G7 countries have committed themselves to gradually phasing out Russian oil imports or imposing an embargo on it. The leaders of the G7 countries intend to continue and intensify the campaign against the financial elites and their families who support Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On May 4, the European Commission announced the sixth package of sanctions against Russia. It includes a delayed embargo on imports of crude oil and petroleum products, which could come into force in late 2022 or early 2023. However, later it became known that so far the European Union could not reach a consensus, and Hungary on May 8 continued to block the proposal of the European Commission to ban the import of Russian oil. According to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary and the EU as a whole are not yet ready for such a step.

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