The EU will sanction three Russian banks as part of its response to Russia’s decision to send troops into Ukraine, according to four diplomats.
The three banks are Rossiya Bank, Promsvyazbank and VEB. The penalties will bar each organization from doing commercial business with companies in the EU, limiting their access to European capital markets and services, two of the diplomats said. The banks are on the EU’s penalties list because of their links to the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized as independent on Monday night, added one of the diplomats.
According to one EU official, “the logic is to deprive the Russian state and government bodies access to European capital markets,” and that “the idea is to cut this access also to the central bank.”
The EU is penalizing the banks under the same legal framework it used to implement sanctions after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 — an approach that could speed up the approval process, one of the diplomats said.
The banks are part of a broader raft of sanctions EU ambassadors approved on Tuesday. The full list includes other figures such as the 351 Russian lawmakers who approved the recognition of the separatist territories in Ukraine. The total package is expected to be finalized Wednesday afternoon.