Ukraine accuses top Western banks of war crimes

Ukraine accuses top Western banks of war crimes

Kyiv demanded that giants such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Credit Agricole no longer finance companies trading in Russian oil.

The world’s major banks, including JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Citigroup and Credit Agricole, are “committing war crimes” by financing companies supplying Russian oil, a senior Ukrainian official said. In an interview with the Financial Times, parts of which were published late on Friday, Oleg Ustenko, an economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, claimed that financial institutions were guilty of “such specific way they help the Putin regime,” referring to the trade in Russian hydrocarbons. The revenues are said to be used to finance Moscow’s offensive against its neighbor, Kyiv claims.

The official also told reporters that Ukraine’s Justice Ministry would sue the banks at the International Criminal Court once the conflict ends. Ustenko pointed out that Kyiv’s security services are keeping an eye on creditors that support Russia’s fossil fuel trade.According to the FT, earlier this week the presidential adviser sent a letter to the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, HSBC, Citigroup and Credit Agricole, urging the financial institutions to stop lending to companies that trade in Russian oil and sell shares in the state-backed Gazprom and Rosneft in oil and gas industry groups.The Ukrainian official reportedly accused the banks of “prolonging” the conflict and warned that they should not be involved in Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. The letters allegedly highlighted, among other things, that the asset management arms of HSBC and Credit Agricole still hold stakes in Russian state oil and gas companies Gazprom and Rosneft. Citigroup allegedly provides a credit line to another Russian oil and gas industry giant, Lukoil, as well as to the Dutch energy company Vitol, which trades in Russian oil, according to the letters seen by the FT. JPMorgan Chase is another global bank that provides a line of credit to the Dutch merchant, Ustenko allegedly claimed. In addition, Kyiv believes the lender still has stakes in Russia’s largest majority state-owned bank, Sberbank, as well as Gazprom and Rosneft, which the letter listed as among the Kremlin’s most valuable economic assets.In early July, JPMorgan Chase warned that attempts to impose a price cap on Russian oil could push global prices to a “stratospherically high $380 a barrel”. In a letter written to the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, Ustenko insisted that JPMorgan Chase’s assessment was nothing more than “scare mongering based on poor quality analysis,” the FT wrote. The Ukrainian official allegedly scolded Dimon because he only referred to the situation in Ukraine as a “crisis”. In a later statement, JPMorgan Chase argued that it had “diligently” and actively implemented all Western sanctions against Russia. Citigroup and Credit Agricole, while not directly responding to the Ukrainian official’s letters, reiterated their previous statements about suspending and curtailing their operations in Russia. HSBC declined to comment.However, private individuals told journalists that it was impossible to sell some of their Russian interests due to sanctions and other restrictions already in place.Dutch energy trader Vitol, whose name appeared several times in Ustenko’s letters, pointed out that it has reduced its Russian oil business by 80% since the end of February, and that the remaining volumes are fully compliant with Western sanctions.Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!

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