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Putin discusses situation with Russian banks in Ukraine at meeting with businessmen

March 16, 2017, 19:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The president and the businessmen did not discuss possible termination of activities with Ukraine, according to the head of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov

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MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. The situation with Russian banks in Ukraine has become one of the topics of the closed meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with businessmen, head of Lukoil Vagit Alekperov, who took part in the event, told reporters.

"We discussed different issues, concerning our banks that operate in Ukraine," he said.

Alekperov added that the president and the businessmen did not discuss possible termination of activities with Ukraine.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian state capital operating in the Ukrainian market, according to the president’s press service.

Sanctions were introduced after the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine adopted the day before. Restrictions are introduced for a year against Sberbank, VS Bank, Prominvestbank, VTB Bank and BM Bank.

Sanctions include a ban on withdrawal of funds outside of Ukraine, as well as payment of dividends, interest, return of interbank deposits and loans, funds from correspondent accounts of subordinated debt. The ban also concerns distribution of profits and capital of these five banks. At the same time, restrictions, according to the National Bank of Ukraine, do not prohibit settlements between residents of Ukraine and their counterparties who have accounts in the parent structures.

Currently, Russia’s VTB and Vnesheconombank are selling their Ukrainian assets.

In particular, VEB plans to sell its subsidiary bank in Ukraine - Prominvestbank - in the first half of 2017 and negotiates with the final buyers.

According to VTB CEO Andrey Kostin, BM Bank, a subsidiary of VTB Bank in Ukraine, can be sold in the near future, there are already buyers for this asset.

Sberbank is the only one of sanctioned Russian state banks that did not plan to part with its Ukrainian subsidiary. Head of Sberbank Herman Gref repeatedly spoke about this in 2016.

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