Ukraine’s National Bank and Security Service intend to study the activity of the subsidiaries of Russian banks and “make corresponding proposals, including one on imposing sanctions against them” within 24 hours, said Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council secretary Oleksandr Turchynov.
Since early 2017, several protests have taken place in Ukraine against VTB and Sberbank subsidiaries operating in the local market. On March 13, Interfax-Ukraine reported that dozens of ATMs in various regions across the country were allegedly filled with spray foam, the statement read. Over the course of these protests, the branches these banks have been plastered with leaflets and doused with paint. In Kiev, there was an attempt to “brew” the door of a branch of a local subsidiary of VTB.
Veterans of the anti-separatist operations in the Donbass and other activists who, in late February, organized a blockade of railway lines connecting territories controlled by the authorities with the Lugansk and Donbas People’s Republics with the rest of Ukraine, announced on March 10 that they intended to halt Sberbank’s operation in the country within two weeks.
The activists demanded that Ukrainian authorities prohibit Sberbank’s operation in light of the Russian bank’s announcement that it would begin servicing clients with passports from the two separatist regions. Ukrainian authorities have yet to officially make an decisions in regards to this matter.