The US Treasury warned foreign banks against helping Russia to circumvent sanctions

Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale (Wally) Adeyemo has threatened foreign banks with loss of access to both the US and EU financial systems if they help Moscow evade

The Joe Biden administration has urged foreign banks not to help Russia evade sanctions, otherwise they risk losing access to the financial systems of the US and Europe. According to The New York Times, U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Adewale (Wally) Adeyemo warned in private meetings with representatives of international banks in New York, including those from China, Brazil, Ireland, Japan and Canada, that even if the financial institution located in a country that has not imposed restrictions on Russia, it may still face consequences for violating US or EU sanctions.

“If you provide financial support to sanctioned individuals or organizations, we may place you under the sanctions regime and use our tools to put pressure on you,” — he declared. To get around the sanctions, Russians and companies tried to create trusts and act through proxies. The Deputy Finance Minister also pointed to companies that can provide assistance to sanctioned businessmen who are trying to hide their yachts. Most jurisdictions comply with restrictive measures, but some, such as the UAE, continue to hide Russian assets. Several Russian yachts are moored in Dubai, the building points out.

On May 13, the US Treasury released the 2022 National Strategy to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. It provides for measures against Russia's circumvention of sanctions. The authorities intend to make efforts to eliminate loopholes that allowed sanctioned Russians to hide their names, as well as bank accounts and other assets through shell companies and real estate deals for cash.

The European Union and the United States decided to freeze the assets Bank of Russia by freezing its transactions in order to limit “the use of its own international reserves to weaken the impact of Western sanctions.” The head of the Ministry of Finance, Anton Siluanov, reported that as a result, Russia lost access to almost half of its gold and foreign exchange reserves— $300 billion

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia, together with Iran and China, intends to look for ways to bypass the restrictions. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, in turn, threatened to deprive Chinese companies that ignore US restrictions on exports to Russia of American equipment and software they need to manufacture their own products.

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