Too big to sanction? A big Russian bank still operates freely in the global economy because it helps Europe get Russian gas
Ukraine is urging the U.S. and the EU to sanction a major Russian bank, Gazprombank, that still operates freely due its role in natural gas sales to Europe.
Ukraine is urging the United States and the European Union to slap tougher sanctions on one of Russia’s largest banks, Gazprombank, which is still able to operate freely around the world because of its central role in Moscow’s gas trade.
Ukraine’s government says the bank, which was set up to service Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom, is helping to bankroll the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.
“The U.S. and Europe should sanction Gazprombank, not just for its role in helping Russia accrue revenue from its energy sales, but because Gazprombank is directly involved in supporting Russia’s military, state-owned companies, and other institutions that are sustaining the invasion of Ukraine,” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, told NBC News.
Gazprombank, Russia’s third largest bank, has been spared the kind of severe restrictions facing many other Russian lenders. It continues to oversee transactions in dollars and euros, and remains part of the international SWIFT bank messaging system.
Families of missing U.S. veterans in Ukraine fear they have been capturedJune 17, 202202:15The question of whether to tighten sanctions on Gazprombank illustrates the dilemma facing Western governments as they try to squeeze Russia’s economy in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. Europe still relies heavily on Russian natural gas, and uses Gazprombank to handle payments for its gas imports. Most European governments remain reluctant to penalize the bank and risk cutting off the flow of natural gas completely, Western officials and experts say.