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Source: Bill on criminal liability for aiding West's sanctions poses no danger to Sberbank

A source says the bill on criminal liability for aiding West’s sanctions on Russia poses no danger to Sberbank

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. The bill on criminal liability for aiding West’s sanctions on Russia poses no danger to Sberbank, a high ranking source in the State Duma (lower house of parliament) told TASS when asked if the bill could somehow affect Sberbank, which still refrained from establishing presence in Crimea.

"If some Russian companies choose to minimize business risks, then, in my view, they are not aiding foreign sanctions but only trying to take the actual situation into account - naturally, from the standpoint of these companies," the source said. "This is why I don’t think that anyone will try to hold them [Sberbank - TASS] responsible in accordance with the future law," he added.

The source also pointed out that "criminal liability did not apply to legal entities" in Russia. "If we take staff members, then again, it is impossible to talk about the implementation of sanctions," the source went on to say. "The implementation of what we call sanctions, including the refusal to deal with Russian legal entities and provide them with banking services, means that direct negative actions against Russian citizens and companies are taken," he pointed out.

Bill on counter-sanctions

The draft law On Measures of Response (Counteraction) to Unfriendly Acts by the US and (or) Other Foreign States was submitted by the leaders of all the parliamentary factions, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

The bill was drafted as "a response measure to the challenges by the US and its officials as expressed in their unfriendly and non-constructive actions for imposing sanctions both against Russia as a whole and its citizens and legal entities," the document says in an explanatory note.

The bill proposes supplementing Russia’s Criminal Code with a new article - 284.2 - on "Restricting or Refusing to Perform Ordinary Business Operations or Transactions for the Purpose of Assisting the Enforcement of Restrictive Measures Imposed by a Foreign State, a Group of Foreign States or by an International Organization."

The document stipulates a maximum penalty of up to four years in prison.