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VTB sanctioned by Western countries, whose banks cooperated with drug cartels – head

The head of VTB Andrey Kostin noted that the bank had a good reputation on the world stage and did not violate any rules

MOSCOW, June 10. /TASS/. Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia’s second largest lender VTB, although their own banks violated regulations including by cooperating with Latin American drug cartels, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin has told Reuters in an interview.

"Our bank had good reputation on the global arena. We have never violated any rules. As you know, banks can be punished for certain things, such as money laundering or some illegal operations. We often read about major Western banks who keep the money of Latin American drug cartels and something of this kind. We have never done anything like that. We had good relations with American banks, we had contacts, we were partners in major deals with both American and European banks," Kostin said.

"Sanctions are a purely political decision. I think it [the decision] is extremely wrong, especially with regard to the global financial system, including for the dollar and its role," the VTB CEO added.

The West imposed large-scale sanctions on Russia after it had launched a special military operation in Ukraine. Since March, the European Union has been discussing the 11th package of anti-Russian sanctions, intended to toughen the existing measures and to counter loopholes and circumvention.