MOSCOW, June 26 Amendments to Russian banking
laws will not ban strategic companies from having accounts in
foreign banks, but it will impose new capital requirements on
banks that do business with such companies, the country's
finance minister said on Thursday.
The Russian newspaper Kommersant earlier this week cited an
unnamed source as saying the Finance Ministry had prepared
amendments that would ban state and private companies deemed to
be of strategic significance from having accounts at
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told journalists on Thursday
that the amendments contained no such restrictions but were
aimed at keeping state companies' money safe, including in the
event of sanctions, the Interfax news agency reported.
"The draft law does not contain a ban on strategic companies
working with foreign banks or carrying out settlements abroad,"
Siluanov said. But it would impose new capital requirements on
banks working with strategic companies.
He said the draft law would be sent to Russia's lower house
of parliament soon so that it could be considered in the State
Duma's spring session, which ends in July.
One of the most important economic policymakers in President
Vladimir Putin's government, Igor Shuvalov, said on Wednesday he
did not support a ban on major companies having accounts at
Plans to change the law on banks are seen as a response to
threats of further Western sanctions against Russia over its
involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Analysts had criticised any plan to the use by Russian
companies of services that foreign-owned banks offer, saying
that would deter investment.
(Reporting by Alexander Winning, Editing by Jason Bush, Larry