: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Washington maintains warnings about ”risks” of doing business with Russia


U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner says that the U.S. position on doing business with Russia as usual has not changed… it bears risks while sanctions related to the situation in Ukraine are enforced, RIA Novosti reported.
”We continue to be clear in our engagements with U.S. companies that we believe there are risks—both economic and reputational—associated with a return to business as usual with Russia,” Toner told RIA Novosti, according to the report.
Toner added that Washington has sent a ”clear signal” to Moscow through ”combined sanctions, restrictive measures, and reduced diplomatic engagement” that it should fulfill its obligations under the Minsk agreements and put an end to its occupation of Crimea.
Earlier, in late February, the U.S. government and Treasury Department urged some of the nation`s largest banks to refrain from helping Russia sell bonds, as helping the nation obtain foreign funding risked undermining sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict. The rules don`t explicitly prohibit banks from pursuing the business, but U.S. State Department officials hold the view that helping finance Russia would run counter to American foreign policy, as was reported.
Russia announced on Monday the placement of a new $3 billion eurobond issue on the international capital market. The issue is carried out in compliance with the program of external borrowing, in accordance with the Law on the budget for the current year, according to media reports. The maturity of the bonds is ten years yielding 4.65% to 4.9% annually.
Previosuly, Daniel Fried, coordinator for sanctions policy at the State Department, said he was not sure whether the purchase of Russian bonds was contrary to the U.S. sanctions policy. He did not rule out that additional obstacles for U.S. banks participation in the bond issue would be associated with the fact that VTB Bank, which was designated to carry out the bond operations, was subject to U.S. and EU financial restrictions.

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