The U.S. Treasury Department Thursday blacklisted a Moscow-based financial institution and its chairman for their alleged roles in facilitating transactions for the Central Bank of Syria and a state-owned oil company. To help Syria's government circumvent U.S. and EU sanctions, Tempbank delivered millions of dollars in cash to the Middle Eastern nation's central bank and provided financial services to SYTROL, the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said. The agency also designated Tempbank Chairman Mikhail Gagloev for personally arranging the deals. The designation of the bank is the fifth such measure against a Russian financial institution since Russia's February...
At its highest levels, Russian corruption over the past 20 years has been disguised by networks of shell companies and facilitated by foreign banks willing to turn a blind eye to state embezzlement, according to Karen Dawisha, a political science professor at Ohio-based Miami University.
U.S. officials are preparing to press their EU counterparts on stronger Russia sanctions ahead of a European Council meeting next week, State Department representatives told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday.
U.S. officials have no plans to negotiate Russia's compliance with an anti-tax evasion law that takes effect this summer and could impose stiff monetary penalties on nonparticipating financial institutions.
U.S. sanctions against 17 Russian individuals and companies, including three banks and the head of one of the nation's largest energy companies, will raise more questions than answers for compliance officers.