08:26 GMT31 May 2020
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    The US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) would be able to immediately restore work with Russia if the current restrictions are removed, EXIM Business Development Officer Kate Bishop told Sputnik on Monday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The EXIM bank is now on administrative hold in Russia because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

    "If the hold is lifted we would be able to engage again," Bishop said on the margins of the 5th Annual Doing Business with the BRICS conference.

    When asked whether they would be able to resume work immediately, the officer said, "Yes."

    At the moment, the bank is on an "administrative hold" in Russia because of the ongoing conflict in Ukrainine, but the bank is open for business in the rest of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, Bishop added.

    "We are restricted in a few countries right now Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, Iran, for example. We have very special condition in Russia, also Ukraine, call it administrative hold," Bishop stated. "Because on the conflict on the border there, we currently can't do anything in Russia, but we are open in the other four BRICS."

    Bishop noted that trade is still ongoing with Russia and US companies are free to export to the country subject to certain restrictions. However, she added, the Ex-Im bank cannot at present finance the exports.

    "So, we still have some exposure that we are servicing. We had established a couple of facilities with Russian banks, Sberbank and VTB," Bishop said.

    Things continue to operate to some extent, she concluded.

    The relations between Russia and the West worsened amid the 2014 Ukrainian crisis, as Brussels and Washington put the blame of the eastern Ukraine conflict on Moscow and continue to refuse to recognize results of Crimean referendum on rejoining Russia.

    The United States and the European Union introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions under pretext of Russia’s alleged meddling in the Ukrainian affairs. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations.


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