Ukraine accuses American and European banks of ties to Russia

Ukraine’s authorities has informed US and European financial institution chiefs to chop ties with teams that commerce in Russian oil, as high presidential aide Volodymyr Zelenskyi accused the lenders of “warfare crimes”.

Oleg Ustenko, Zelensky’s financial adviser, has written to bankers, together with Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase and Noel Quinn of HSBC, asking them to again financing firms that commerce Russian oil and stakes in oil and fuel firms Gazprom and Rosneft. cease doing it.

In letters seen by the Monetary Occasions this week, which have been additionally despatched to Citigroup and Crédit Agricole, the banks have been accused of “furthering” the warfare by lending to firms transporting Russian oil and mentioned that they are going to be prevented from taking part within the firm. within the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

In an interview with the FT, Ustenko mentioned that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine plans to refer the banks to the Worldwide Legal Court docket after the top of the warfare, and that Ukrainian safety providers are accumulating data on monetary establishments that help Russian fossil fuels.

“For my part, they’re [the banks] are committing warfare crimes as a result of they’re aiding and abetting the Putin regime on this method,” he mentioned, including that Russia’s oil and fuel revenues have been getting used to purchase missiles and anti-Ukrainian missiles.

The ICC can’t examine or prosecute governments or companies. However it could actually examine and prosecute the individuals of those organizations.

The asset administration arm of HSBC and Crédit Agricole owns shares in Gazprom and Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil and fuel firms. In keeping with the letters, Citigroup is lending to Russian oil and fuel big Lukoil and to Vitol, which offers in Russian oil.

JPMorgan is extending credit score traces to Vitol, whereas its Russian securities funding belief has stakes in Gazprom, Sberbank and Rosneft, described within the letter because the Kremlin’s most essential financial belongings.

Ukraine’s authorities is especially offended with JPMorgan after it launched an analyst word warning that makes an attempt to impose tariffs on Russian oil might push world costs to “$380/barrel.”

In a letter to Dimon, Ustenko informed Dimon that the word was “primarily based on shoddy evaluation” and likewise complained that it referred to the state of affairs in Ukraine as a “disaster” moderately than a Russian assault.

In an announcement, JPMorgan mentioned it performed an energetic function in imposing Western sanctions. “Managing these evolving sanctions has been a frightening activity for all world monetary establishments, which have rapidly and aggressively imposed multilateral sanctions towards Russia’s main banks, its central financial institution, firms and people.”

Citigroup and Crédit Agricole didn’t instantly reply to Ustenko’s assertion, however reiterated their earlier statements about suspending and ceasing operations in Russia. HSBC declined to remark. HSBC and Citigroup are in talks with potential patrons for his or her native companies.

Privately, bankers famous that it’s unattainable to lose Russian shares on account of sanctions or the suspension of buying and selling of sure shares.

Vitol mentioned it has reduce Russian oil commerce by 80 % because the assault, with the remaining quantity all topic to Western sanctions designed to maintain Russian oil flowing.

Further reporting by David Sheppard and Jane Croft in London

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