(Adds comment from Raiffeisen Bank International spokeswoman)
MOSCOW, March 16 The Russian arm of Austria's
Raiffeisen Bank International is preparing to offer
services to people holding passports from two self-proclaimed
republics in rebel-held eastern Ukraine, the head of the bank
said on Thursday.
Sergei Monin told reporters the move followed consultations
with Russia's central bank but might require the consent of the
"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
"We are in the process of verifying the regulatory
situation," a spokeswoman for Raiffeisen Bank International
said. "We act in accordance with international standards on
customer identification and in the framework of the applicable
local regulations and laws."
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 in Moscow and Francois Murphy in
Vienna; writing by Dasha Afanasieva and Jack Stubbs; Editing by