The western sanctions against the financial sector in Russia are evidently showing their first effects. As the dpa writes, people in the larger Russian cities are complaining about the first problems with withdrawing cash. One man told the agency that after a long search in central Moscow on Saturday he was only able to find a Sberbank ATM that dispensed 7,500 rubles (about 80 euros).
A Rosbank machine in the luxury department store “Gum”, where dollars and euros can also be drawn, no longer issued foreign currencies, as the 41-year-old said. Other Muscovites also reported such problems.
Raiffeisen ATM “temporarily shut down”
A man from the Baltic Sea metropolis of St. Petersburg sent a photo of a Raiffeisen Bank ATM, the screen of which read: “The ATM is temporarily shut down.” Another machine did not issue the desired sum of 50,000 rubles (530 euros) – and instead recommended trying to withdraw several smaller sums again.
Six banks directly affected
In response to Russia’s large-scale attack on the neighboring country, both the EU and the US had imposed sanctions on Russia’s financial sector. Six Russian banks – including the country’s second largest institution, VTB Bank – were completely affected by the US punitive measures.
This means that US citizens and companies are not allowed to do business with them, their assets in the US – or even their assets that come into contact with the US financial system – are frozen. In addition, the government bans all US institutions from maintaining accounts for the largest Russian financial institution, Sberbank.
On Friday, several large Russian banks – including Sberbank and VTB Bank – assured the Russians in a joint statement that there would be no problems withdrawing cash.