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Raiffeisen delays leaving Russia. Raiffeisen intends to separate a separate part of its institution to serve Russian companies

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Raiffeisen Bank International is delaying plans to leave Russia, Reuters reported, citing three people familiar with the matter. The reason for staying is to “intensify the defense of long-term relations” between Austria and Russia. Raiffeisen, Russia’s largest Western bank, intended to spin off its Russian business, which provides payments to hundreds of companies there, by September after coming under pressure from European regulators.

Raiffeisen (RBI), the largest Western financial institution in Russia, intends to spin off a separate part of its institution that would provide services to hundreds of Russian companies, Reuters reported. Citing his sources, he also said that at least Austria officially supports Ukraineit is reluctant to completely sever decades of ties with Russia.

The bank’s operations in Russia enable international payments

It was noted that the RBI had not yet presented its plan to supervisory authorities at the European Central Bank (ECB). Approval from the Russian central bank, the finance ministry and, in the case of a sale, even the president of Russia will be needed before action can be taken Vladimir Putin.

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Russian authorities have made it clear to RBI that its operations in Russia enable international payments to approximately 2,600 corporate clients, 4 million account holders and 10,000 employees.

An RBI spokesman stressed that the bank will seek to sell or spin off parts of it and is committed to reducing its Russian operations.

Reuters reported that the Wagner group’s march to Moscow would make it difficult to find a buyer as the event shook Russia’s business elite.

Read more: 36 hours of “justice march”

Washington’s pressure

RBI’s presence in Russia underscores the depth of the relationship between the two countries due to gas pipelines and finance. The Austrian central bank and the ECB declined to comment.

Reuters added that RBI is also facing pressure from Washington, having provided information on Russian transactions to the US sanctions authority at the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). According to the bank, it complies with the sanctions and cooperates with OFAC.

A spokesman for the Austrian finance ministry said other European banks are also active in Russia. “A bank cannot leave a country like this overnight,” he said.

Read also: A company from Russia bypassed Polish sanctions. “There are dishonest companies, also in Poland”

Main photo source: Mikhail Gerasimov/Shutterstock

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