Russia's top lender Sberbank leaves the European market
Facing an abnormal outflow of funds, Sberbank withdraws from European markets.
According to a Wednesday statement released by Russia's top lender, Sberbank has taken the decision to leave the European market.
"In the current situation Sberbank decided to leave the European market. The group’s affiliates are facing an abnormal outflow of funds and the security threat for staff and offices," the bank said.
Read more: How do Western sanctions on Russia impact EU economy?
Sberbank, according to the statement, will not provide liquidity to European affiliates from the decision onwards.
"Meanwhile Sberbank’s affiliates have a high level of capital and quality of assets, clients’ deposits are ensured in conformity with local law. The bank’s assets are sufficient for making payments to all depositors," the bank said.
To draw up context, earlier today, Austria's financial regulator prohibited Sberbank Europe AG's commercial activities - Europe AG is Sberbank's subsidiary. Alongside that decision, the Czech National Bank has begun the revocation of Sberbank CZ's banking license earlier this week.
In parallel, on February 28, Sberbank closed the deal on selling Sberbank Srbija to Serbia's AIK Banka.
Sberbank Europe AG has Sberbank Group assets in Eastern and Central Europe. The bank's headquarters are in Vienna; however, Europe AG is completely owned by its parent bank.
Sberbank Europe AG has operated in 8 European markets, including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia and Germany.
Not only Sberbank
In response to European Union sanctions, the Russian space agency withdrew its experts from the Kourou space station and suspended the launch of Soyuz missiles.
Moreover, the Russian space agency Roscosmos has suspended cooperation with Europe on launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and has recalled its staff from French Guiana, according to Dmitry Rogozin, the agency's head.
"In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roscosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and is recalling its technical personnel, including the combined launch crew, from French Guiana," Rogozin wrote on his Telegram channel.
On Friday, the EU Council of Foreign Ministers approved the second package of EU sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.