MOSCOW, Jun 25 (Reuters) - Russia is unlikely to ban major companies from holding accounts at foreign banks as part of a new law as some media reports have suggested, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.
Kommersant newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing an unnamed source, that the Finance Ministry had prepared legal amendments that would bar state companies, and private companies deemed to be of strategic significance, from having accounts at foreign-owned banks.
“In the (form of the) extremely tough position that was published in the press, hardly anyone supports this law,” Shuvalov told journalists on Wednesday.
“In such a form I don’t support it.”
However, Shuvalov, seen as one of the most important economic policymakers in President Vladimir Putin’s government, said that some form of law on accounts at foreign banks was nevertheless in the works and would soon be ready for consideration by the government.
“It is being pushed. There are pushers,” he said.
The plan to change the law for banks is seen as a response to threats of further Western sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine.
Analysts have criticised any plan to restrict Russian companies’ use of foreign-owned banks’ services, warning that it would be highly damaging for Russia’s investment climate. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Jason Bush; Editing by Susan Fenton)