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Ukraine’s finance minister comments on Russian banks’ decision to leave country

May 11, 18:45 UTC+3 ¶ NIKOSIA

Since January, Ukrainian radicals, members of the National Corps nationalist party have declared a "war" to the affiliated branches of Russian banks in Ukraine

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NIKOSIA, May 11. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Finance Minister Alexander Danilyuk, said that the subsidiaries of Russian banks are leaving the Ukrainian market, because they "want it themselves".

"We welcome the development of any banks in the country, but as for Russian banks there are some aspects connected with aggression, it's not politics, it's a reasonable attitude. We don’t want to see Russian banks in the country and want to a stable banking system," Danilyuk said answering the question why Russian banks are leaving the Ukrainian market.

Since January, Ukrainian radicals, members of the National Corps nationalist party have declared a "war" to the affiliated branches of Russian banks in Ukraine, demanding that the authorities should withdraw their licenses of those banks adopt a law banning their operation in Ukraine.

In mid-March, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian state capital operating in the Ukrainian market. 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.

In late March, Sberbank announced the sale of its subsidiary bank in Ukraine to a consortium of investors. As part of the deal Said Gutseriev (the son of Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev, main owner of Russneft) will get 77.5% in the subsidiary, while the rest will be obtained by Latvia’s Norvik Banka.

Vnesheconombank, which owns Prominvestbank, also intends to sell the Ukrainian subsidiary.

VTB said that they had not found the best buyer for its Ukrainian subsidiary, but the group will manage how to leave the Ukrainian market before the end of the year.

In April, Ukrainian nationalists resumed their campaign against the bank branches. Radicals said they would "independently" stop their work due to the lack of "effective actions of the National Bank of Ukraine", which does not want to revoke licenses.

After the attacks on the banks, the Ukrainian police opened several criminal cases.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed concern about the situation with the Russian banks in Ukraine. However, despite the IMF's demand, official Kiev refused to cancel sanctions against the banks with Russian capital, but promised to weaken them if the security situation in the country improves.

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