“China’s ambiguous position regarding Russian banks in the wake of US and EU sanctions is a key issue holding back progress toward greater bilateral cooperation,” Soloviev said in an opinion piece in the FinanceAsia news agency published Tuesday.
Soloviev said interbank transactions from most Chinese banks are not being conducted and many banks have lowered their involvement in foreign trade deals.
“Most Chinese banks will currently not execute interbank transactions with their Russian peers. In addition, Chinese banks have significantly curtailed their involvement in interbank foreign trade deals, such as providing trade finance,” Soloviev said in his opinion piece.
Russia's VTB was among banks targeted by Western sanctions imposed against Moscow over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
Last year, US and European investors were prohibited from issuing new loans to Russian banks including VTB, Sberbank, Russian Agricultural Bank, Gazprombank and Vnesheconombank for a period exceeding 30 days. Additional prohibitions were placed on buying any of stocks or bonds over 30 days old from the sanctioned financial institutions. Sanctions were also imposed by Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Japan against Russian state-owned banks.
Following the sanctions against Moscow, Russian banks shifted economic cooperation to other countries, particularly China.
During recent months, VTB inked agreements on partnership with China Development Bank, Export-Import Bank of China and China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation.