Austria's Raiffeisen Bank scraps controversial Russia deal

AFP - [email protected]
Austria's Raiffeisen Bank scraps controversial Russia deal
The Raiffeisen Bank in Austria (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

Austria's Raiffeisenbank said it was scraping a deal involving Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who is under Western sanctions, to try to recover assets frozen in Russia.


The group—which remains the largest Western bank still operating in Russia—announced in December an agreement with Austrian construction company Strabag involving Deripaska.

The deal to try to recover assets frozen in Russia before selling or spinning off Raiffeisenbank Russia had drawn the scrutiny of US authorities.

"The bank has decided to walk away from the transaction out of caution," the bank said in a statement.

"In recent exchanges with the relevant authorities Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) was unable to achieve the required support," it said.

The bank -- which has vowed to reduce its business in Russia following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in 2022 -- insisted it would continue to seek to sell or spin off Raiffeisenbank Russia.


A senior US Treasury official -- in Austria in March to discuss sanctions against Russia -- met Raiffeisen Bank International officials in Vienna to discuss the bank's business in Russia.

Last year, a Czech rights group filed a criminal complaint against the bank's Czech and Austrian units, claiming the bank is financing terrorism with its activities in Russia.

Raiffeisenbank has been in Russia since 1996 and employs more than 9,000 people there.



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