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MPs urge European parliaments to assess violence against Russian banks in Ukraine

The Ukrainian law enforcement authorities have not undertaken measures to stop the illegal actions, the Russian legislators said

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Lower house of the Russian parliament (State Duma) adopted an address to parliaments of European countries, to the European Parliament, PACE and General Secretary of the European Council in a call to use their authorities to stop the aggression against Russian banks in Ukraine and to give adequate assessment of the Kiev authorities’ actions.

The address contains "extreme indignation at the violence against the banking institutions in Ukraine, with the peak on March 14-15."

"Those illegal actions resulted in paralyzed work of Sberbank, Alfa Bank, where millions of clients have accounts and where several thousand Ukrainian citizens are employed," the Russian lawmakers said in the address.

"The Ukrainian law enforcement authorities have not undertaken measures to stop the illegal actions, thus disposing to threat lives and health of the employees at those institutions," the document reads. "It was for the first time in history of modern Europe that staff of financial institutions was bricked up in the attacked offices. At the same time, Ukraine’s official authorities by their statements incited the militants to the criminal violence."

"The Ukrainian president instead of observing the constitution-based authority to provide for the order, announced sanctions against the financial institutions, which are Ukrainian legal entities, registered in compliance with the Ukrainian legislation, and having a significant share in the national banking system and which abide in good faith by the Ukrainian legislation," the document reads.

Call to stop and condemn violence

The Russian legislators consider it evident that "actions of the kind do not comply with the norms of the international law and contradict completely with Ukraine’s obligations under the country’s association agreement with the EU, they destroy the investment climate in Ukraine and affect the already disastrous economic situation in that country."

"The State Duma’s deputies are calling on European counterparts, who have supported Ukraine’s association agreement with the European Union, to use effectively their authorities for stopping the crimes and violence, to give adequate assessment to actions by the Ukrainian authorities. History teaches the danger of turning a blind eye on neo-Nazi actions. It is necessary to put an end to the chain of crimes and violence in Ukraine," the document reads.

Sanctions against Russian banks

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko imposed sanctions against five banks with Russian stakes for a term of twelve months. The sanctions were slapped against Sberbank, Prominvestbank, VTB, BM Bank and VS Bank.

The sanctions ban any financial transactions in favor of parent banks, the provision of inter-bank loans, deposits, subordinated loans, funds from correspondent accounts or the payment of dividends and interest.

Currently, VTB and Vnesheconombank (VEB) are actively selling out Ukrainian assets. In particular, VEB plans to sell its subsidiary bank in Ukraine, Prominvestbank, during the first half of 2017 and is holding talks with final buyers.

As VTB Head Andrei Kostin said, BM Bank, which is VTB’s subsidiary in Ukraine, may be sold in the imminent future and there are already buyers for this asset.

Sberbank was the sole lender among Russian state-run banks that had no plans to sell its Ukrainian subsidiary as was numerously stated by Sberbank CEO Herman Gref.