The European Union (EU) banned five Russian banks from raising capital on the European Union’s capital markets as part of a wider package of sanctions on Moscow over its actions in the Ukraine conflict.
Due to enter into force on 1 August, the ban targets Russian banks with state ownership of more than 50%. It excludes EU subsidiaries of the Russian banks.
Marking a fundamental shift in how Europe deals with Russia, the sanctions will mean EU nationals and companies can no longer buy or sell new bonds, equity or other financial instruments with a maturity of more than 90 days issued by major state-owned Russian banks or those acting on their behalf.
The European Union formally adopted sanctions on Thursday, which also curb arms sales to Russia. Others limit defence sales and the export of hi-tech equipment for the oil sector.
Until this week, Europe had imposed sanctions only on individuals and organisations accused of direct involvement in threatening Ukraine, and had shied away from wider “sectoral sanctions”. It published a new list of associates of Putin and companies subject to asset freezes late on Wednesday.