RT France Head Decries Discrimination as Bank Accounts of Some Employees Blocked in Country

© AP Photo / Thibault CamusSnow covers the Trocadero gardens with the Eiffel Tower in the background, in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021
Snow covers the Trocadero gardens with the Eiffel Tower in the background, in Paris, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
PARIS (Sputnik) - RT France chief Ksenia Fedorova said on Wednesday that several Russian employees of the broadcaster have had their bank accounts in France frozen.
"Several of our Russian employees in France at once had their personal salary accounts blocked by Societe General. This is real discrimination based on nationality," Fedorova said on Telegram.
Disruptions in banking services appear to be a common issue for France-based Russians and Belarusians, according to a petition started earlier in the day and signed by over 1,300 affected people at the time of writing.
"We, residents and citizens of France with Russian and Belarusian citizenship, faced with mass restriction or blockage of accounts in Societe General, CIC and some other banks, as well as residents and citizens of France who sympathize with them, appeal to the management of Societe General, the Bank of France and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (since we do not know who exactly made this decision) with a request to stop blatant discrimination based on nationality," the petition read.
The petition specified that Russian-speaking clients cannot at the moment transfer money between their accounts, receive their French salary or scholarship on their cards. Some were left with practically nothing.
The authors stressed that in accordance with the EU Council Regulation 2022/328 of 25 February 2022, Article 5b, paragraph 2, they do not fall under sanctions and therefore consider such actions "arbitrary and discriminatory."
French bank Societe General told Sputnik that the financial institution strictly observes the existing rules and implements the necessary measures for the strict application of international sanctions as soon as they are published. The application of these measures and the verification of the conformity of some transactions may delay the processing of transactions, according to the bank’s spokesperson.
The other banks - BNP Paribas and CIC - did not respond to Sputnik's inquiry for a comment.
On 24 February, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine after the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which had been recognised by Moscow a few days prior, appealed for help in defending themselves against Kiev's attacks. In response to Russia’s operation, Western countries imposed crippling sanctions on Moscow, targeting numerous Russian officials and entities, media, and financial institutions. Some foreign companies have decided to leave Russia altogether. Moscow has slammed these restrictions, describing the West's actions as a declaration of economic war.
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