Europe has cranked up the pressure on Russia by including the country’s top two banks on a list of sanctions.
Publishing details of new measures aimed at disrupting activity in Russia’s banking, oil and arms industries, the EU said late Thursday that Sberbank (SBRCY)and VTB Bank were now banned from raising medium and long-term finance in Europe.
Also on the list: Gazprombank, VEB and Russian Agricultural Bank — state-controlled banks that can no longer tap European financial markets.
Shares fell sharply Friday — Sberbank was down 2.5% and VTB plunged 4%. Both banks slammed the sanctions while seeking to reassure investors and customers that it was business as usual.
Sberbank said Europe’s move “undermines the foundations of the global financial system” and would not help solve the Ukraine crisis.
Four of the banks were already subject to similar U.S. sanctions. But Sberbank had managed to escape punishment until now.