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    Two Sanctioned Russian Banks Have $640Mln in Frozen Assets in US

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    According to Wall Street Journal, two Russian banks, SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya, both on the US sanctions list, have between them almost $640 million in frozen assets held by dozens of American financial institutions.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Two Russian banks, SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya, both on the US sanctions list, have between them almost $640 million in frozen assets held by dozens of American financial institutions, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday citing newly-released US Treasury Department figures.

    Bank Rossiya had the larger amount, with $572 million, about 10 percent of the bank's assets in 2013 at the present exchange rate. SMP bank has at least $65 million blocked, according to the report.

    The two banks are owned by individuals included on the March 2014 US sanctions list. Bank Rossiya owner Yury Kovalchuk and SMP Bank owners Arkady and Boris Rotenberg were targeted for being part of Russian president Vladimir Putin's "inner circle." The United States, the European Union and their allies imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia following Crimea's March 2014 reunification with Russia, and over Russia's alleged role in the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine. The sanctions target the country's banking, energy and defense sectors, as well as a number of individuals.

    Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in Ukrainian internal affairs.


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