The European Union plans to sanction Russia’s largest lender Sberbank and other Russian financial firms in its next round of restrictions, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen told a German newspaper.
“We are looking further at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which accounts for 37 per cent of the Russian banking sector,” von der Leyen told Bild am Sonntag when asked about the forthcoming sixth round of sanctions.
The US had imposed “severe sanctions” on Sberbank and another Russian lender, Alfa Bank, earlier in April. The UK has also sanctioned Sberbank and committed to ending all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022, the BBC reported.
But the EU had, so far, spared Sberbank and another large Russian lender, Gazprombank, as they were the main routes for its payments for Russian oil and gas.
In its fifth round of penalties, the EU had announced a number of restrictions, including a “full transaction ban” on four banks that represented 23 per cent of Russia’s banking sector.