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Moscow expects Kiev to protect Sberbank in Ukraine — Lavrov

March 14, 13:39 UTC+3

Earlier, Ukrainian nationalists did not let staff of Sberbank’s central office in Kiev work, pitched tents in front of the building, made bonfires

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People pass stones to each other to build a wall in front of the central branch of Russian Sberbank during a protest in Kiev

People pass stones to each other to build a wall in front of the central branch of Russian Sberbank during a protest in Kiev

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Moscow expects Kiev to use the necessary procedures without political motivation to protect Sberbank's offices in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said commenting on Ukrainian nationalists attempting to impede activities of certain offices of the bank.

"As far as I understand, the management of Sberbank has already officially reached relevant competent authorities of Ukraine to stop attempts to hamper their normal activities," he said. "We expect that the necessary procedures in accordance with the Ukrainian law will be used without any political motivation," Lavrov added.

Lavrov also reiterated that Ukrainian law enforcement are obliged to protect banking entities "lynch mobs are intolerable, it violates the law and undermines the property rights protected by Ukrainian legislation."

Early on Tuesday, Ukrainian nationalists did not let staff of Sberbank’s central office in Kiev work, pitched tents in front of the building, made bonfires. At the same time, Russian banks in Ukraine are under pressure from the authorities. The National Bank of Ukraine announced on March 7 that it is ready to initiate sanctions against Sberbank’s subsidiary in Ukraine, if information about the bank providing services in Russia to customers with passports of Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics is confirmed.

Ukrainian unit PJSC Sberbank was founded in 2001, with Sberbank as the sole owner. According to the National Bank of Ukraine, as of July 1, 2016, Sberbank held the 7th place (47.845 bln hryvnia - $805.15 mln) among the country’s 108 banks in terms of total assets.

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