New EU sanctions on Russia to target Sberbank, says commission chief

The logo is displayed at an office of Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank in Moscow, Russia December 24, 2020. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

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FRANKFURT, April 16 (Reuters) – Upcoming European Union sanctions against Russia will target banks, particularly Sberbank (SBER.MM), as well as oil, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said to a German newspaper.

Bild am Sonntag, in an interview published on Sunday, asked him to name the key points of a planned sixth round of sanctions.

“We are looking more at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which represents 37% of the Russian banking sector. And, of course, there are energy issues,” she said.

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The EU has so far spared Russia’s biggest bank from previous rounds of sanctions because it is, together with Gazprombank, one of the main payment channels for Russian oil and gas, which EU countries have purchased despite the conflict in Ukraine. Read more

She also said the EU was working on “smart mechanisms” so oil could also be included in upcoming sanctions.

“What shouldn’t happen is that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin collects even higher prices in other markets for supplies that would otherwise go to the EU,” she said.

“The top priority is to cut Putin’s income,” she said.

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Reporting by Tom Sims; edited by David Evans

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