Sberbank Safe from Effect of Russian Response to U.S. Sanctions: Report

Russia’s Sberbank will not be affected by the bill on criminal liability for aiding West’s sanctions on Russia poses no danger to Sberbank, a high ranking source in the State Duma told TASS news agency.

“If some Russian companies choose to minimize business risks, then, in my view, they are not aiding foreign sanctions but only trying to take the actual situation into account – naturally, from the standpoint of these companies,” the source said.

“This is why I don’t think that anyone will try to hold Sberbank responsible in accordance with the future law,” the source added.

The draft law On Measures of Response (Counteraction) to Unfriendly Acts by the U.S. and (or) Other Foreign States was submitted by the leaders of all the parliamentary factions, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Speaker Valentina Matviyenko.

The source also pointed out that “criminal liability did not apply to legal entities” in Russia.

“If we take staff members, then again, it is impossible to talk about the implementation of sanctions,” the source went on to say.

“The implementation of what we call sanctions, including the refusal to deal with Russian legal entities and provide them with banking services, means that direct negative actions against Russian citizens and companies are taken,” he pointed out.

The bill proposes supplementing Russia’s Criminal Code with a new article – 284.2 – on “Restricting or Refusing to Perform Ordinary Business Operations or Transactions for the Purpose of Assisting the Enforcement of Restrictive Measures Imposed by a Foreign State, a Group of Foreign States or by an International Organization.”

The legislation, which was approved by the Duma in first reading on Tuesday, stipulates a maximum penalty of up to four years in prison.