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Ukraine to seek war-crime charges against Western banks

Kiev will target leaders of JP Morgan Chase, Citi and HSBC, according to Zelensky’s economic adviser

Oleg Ustenko said that the leaders of Western banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are committing war crime by continuing to finance Russia’s state through indirect financing. Oleg Ustenko was an economic advisor to President Vladimir Zelensky in Ukraine.

CNBC interview: Ustenko said that Kiev is still gathering data about banks believed to be financing Russian oil traders, and intends to submit its complaints to International Criminal Court (ICC).

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine, against Ukrainians,”According to Ustenko, the outlet. “In our logic, everybody who is financing these war criminals who are doing these terrible things in Ukraine are also committing war crimes,”He also said that Kiev won’t pursue banks, but leaders and managers.

Ustenko had called previously on several Western bank bosses to severe their ties with Russian oil trading companies and sell their stakes in Russian oil- and gas companies, like Rosneft.

The Financial Times saw letters Ustenko sent earlier in the month to JPMorgan and HSBC CEOs, Citi, Credit Agricolee, and Citi. “prolonging”They were warned about the conflict in Ukraine and that their participation would be restricted to the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The economic adviser reportedly stressed, among other things, that HSBC’s and Credit Agricole’s asset management arms still hold shares in Gazprom and Rosneft, while Citigroup allegedly provides credit facilities to another Russian oil and gas giant, Lukoil, as well as to Vitol, a Dutch energy company that trades in Russian oil. 

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Ukraine wants $9 bn in monthly aid – FT

JPMorgan Chase, another global bank, extends credit lines for the Dutch trader. Ustenko claimed. On top of that, Kiev believes that the lender still holds stakes in Russia’s largest majority state-owned bank, Sberbank, as well as in Gazprom and Rosneft, which were all described in the letter as some of the Kremlin’s most valued economic assets.

Ustenko told FT that Ukraine’s Justice Ministry intends to sue these banks at the ICC, which cannot investigate or prosecute governments or corporations but can target individuals from such organizations.

While not all of the banks have yet responded to Ustenko’s threat, Citi has told the Financial Times it had cut down its business in Russia, while JPMorgan noted to Business Insider that it had helped implement sanctions against Russia.

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