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Raiffeisen Bank Faces US Pressure Over Continuous Russian Presence

The United States issued a direct warning to Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) that its continued operations in Russia could lead to restrictions on its access to the dollar system.

The letter, sent by Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Department Wally Adeyemo on May 6, expressed concerns about RBI’s ongoing presence in Russia and a previously planned $1.5 billion deal with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, which the bank ultimately abandoned.

Raiffeisen Bank International faces questions from the US Treasury, despite canceling the Deripaska deal after receiving their letter.

The bank responded by stating it has “significantly reduced” its operations in Russia and will “continue working towards de-consolidating its Russian subsidiary.”

Last week, Raiffeisen announced the cancellation of a deal with a company linked to Deripaska.

The US Treasury Department subsequently revealed a scheme where Deripaska allegedly attempted to access $1.5 billion in frozen funds through the Austrian banking group.

Following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Raiffeisen Bank International remains the largest Western bank still operating in the country.

However, on May 3, 2024, the Austrian bank confirmed its exit from Russia in the third quarter of 2024.

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