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China's largest banks have stopped accepting payments from Russian organizations subject to sanctions

Three of the four largest banks in China - Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Bank of China - have made adjustments to their policies regarding Russian payments, limiting services to Russian credit institutions that are under international sanctions. According to information published in Izvestia, the changes affected only those Russian banks that are directly subject to sanctions lists.

The decision follows the US imposition of secondary sanctions last December aimed at tightening economic restrictions against Russia. The introduction of these measures has raised concerns among Chinese financial institutions about the possibility of falling under similar sanctions if they continue to cooperate with Russian banks that are under restrictions. In response to these concerns and to avoid risks, Chinese banks took steps to stop settlements with sanctioned Russian credit institutions, clients were notified of this in early January.

However, relations with Russian banks that were not subject to sanctions continue without changes. Various mechanisms are used to circumvent restrictions and minimize risks. One way is to make payments through Russian banks that are not affected by the sanctions, or through their representative offices in China, which, according to local law, are considered separate Chinese entities.

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