MOSCOW, June 24 Russia's Finance Ministry has
prepared legal amendments that would bar state companies, as
well as strategically important private firms, from holding
accounts at foreign-owned banks, the Kommersant daily reported
The paper cited an unnamed source familiar with the plans as
saying that the amendments included changes to Russia's laws on
banks, administrative violations and money laundering.
The Finance Ministry was unable to provide immediate comment
and Kommersant said it had also received no comment from the
Under the proposals, all state-owned companies would be
allowed to have accounts only at Russian state-owned banks, or
at privately owned Russian banks with capital of at least 16.5
billion roubles ($483 million).
The restrictions would also apply to privately owned
companies that were significant for Russia's defence or
security, as defined by an existing law on foreign investment in
This meant the restrictions would apply, for example, to
large commodity producers, telecoms companies and retail chains,
Russia has been mulling steps to reduce its vulnerability to
Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, which has raised
fears that Western countries could freeze Russian assets abroad.
(Reporting by Jason Bush; editing by Kevin Liffey and Jason