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The UN opened an account in a Russian bank for payments in rubles - Sovcombank

Russia (, - Sovcombank, which previously applied to OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control - a division of the US Treasury Department that deals with financial intelligence, planning and application of economic and trade sanctions) for a license to make payments in dollars in The UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) reported that the global organization has opened an account with a non-sanctioned Russian bank and has begun accepting payments in rubles for the first time.

The UN press service, as of the evening of January 22, has not yet confirmed this information, which was shared by Reuters on Monday.

Last year, Deputy Chairman of the Board - Head of the Corporate and Investment Block of Sovcombank Mikhail Avtukhov said in an interview with the British news agency that Western sanctions do not allow the Russian financial institution to make payments to the UN, as well as to other Russian participants in this United Nations program.

Sovcombank has been a member of UNEP FI since 2019, and it came under sanctions from the US, UK and EU in 2022, after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine.

To resume payments and repay debts on membership fees accumulated since the beginning of 2022, Sovcombank applied to the American OFAC with a request to issue a license. The bank has funds in foreign currency for these payments.

Sovcombank reported on Monday that the OFAC license, which would allow payment of membership fees to various international non-profit organizations in dollars, has not yet been received, and until its receipt, the UN, at the request of the bank, opened an account in one of the Russian banks, the name of which was not disclosed , and for the first time began to carry out calculations in rubles.

The bank expects that the American regulator will issue a general license that will allow all Russian market participants to make certain types of payments to international organizations.

At the end of August last year, it became known that Sovcombank's claims against New York-based Citibank and Russian Citibank in the Moscow Arbitration Court for $24 million related to Citibank's debt to insure Sovcombank's risks when issuing syndicated loans to foreign borrowers. After Sovcombank came under blocking US sanctions in February 2022, Citibank froze the funds of its Russian partner as part of an insurance agreement. As part of this agreement, Sovcombank and Citibank entered into separate transactions - swaps (an agreement on the temporary exchange of assets or liabilities) and derivatives (an agreement between the parties to buy or sell an asset at a certain time).

The UN opened an account in a Russian bank for payments in rubles - Sovcombank