Russia nationalises key Crimean bank

12th January 2016, Comments 0 comments

Russia has nationalised a major commercial bank operating in Crimea, which had been sanctioned by the West for funding the peninsula's integration into Russia after Moscow's annexation in March 2014.

The Russian National Commercial Bank (RNKB) said in a statement on its website Tuesday that it is now 100 percent-owned by Russia's federal state property agency.

"We are doing everything in our power to supply the peninsula's residents with quality finance services," the bank's chairman Ruslan Arefyev was quoted in the statement as saying.

The US Treasury last year slapped the bank on a blacklist over its use by Russia "to facilitate its illegal efforts to incorporate Crimea into the Russian Federation" and taking over branches of banks that were operating in Crimea prior to the annexation.

Similar measures were imposed by the European Union in 2014.

RNKB ranks 90th among 700 institutions in the Russian banking system. After Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014 it moved its headquarters to Crimea.

The bank provides, among other services, loans for people serving in the Russian armed forces, according to information on its website.

© 2016 AFP

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