MOSCOW, March 16 The Russian arm of Austria's
Raiffeisen Bank International is preparing to offer
services to holders of passports from two self-proclaimed
people's republics in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, its boss said
Sergei Monin told reporters the move followed consultations
with Russia's central bank but might require the consent of the
parent bank, which was not immediately available for comment.
"We posed some questions to our regulator but in principle
we are preparing to work" with clients in the self-styled
Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, Monin
More than 10,000 people have been killed in the past three
years in the conflict between the Ukrainian government and the
breakaway pro-Russian regions. Moscow recognised passports
issued by Donetsk and Luhansk in February.
In an escalation of tensions, the Ukrainian government said
on Wednesday it was halting all cargo shipments from rebel-held
areas, and the central bank said it would impose sanctions on
the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Russian state-owned banks.
(Reporting by Kira Zavyalova, writing by Dasha Afanasieva;
Editing by Mark Trevelyan)