Russia-China Payments Slowed Down by Sanctions, VTB’s Titov Says

Banking transactions between Russia and China have slowed down because of sanctions against Russia, according to VTB Bank First Deputy Chief Executive Officer Vasily Titov.

“We are experiencing a serious problem with completing transactions and payments through Chinese banks,” Titov said at an economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia. “What used to be completed in half a day now takes as long as two weeks.”

Russia’s biggest oil company OAO Rosneft’s payments from China have also faced delays, Vedomosti reported on its website, citing Titov. Rosneft’s press office couldn’t immediately comment when contacted by Bloomberg outside normal business hours.

Russia has sought to improve business ties with China amid a souring in relations with the U.S. and Europe over its annexation of Crimea. The U.S. and its allies have levied sanctions on companies and individuals, limiting access to capital markets and technology exports in an attempt to pressure Russia to remove support for an insurgency in Ukraine.

“It seems to me that sometimes our Chinese partners approach unnecessary scrutiny in adhering to sanctions, and we have to provide a whole lot of explanation on what the sanctions cover and what they don’t,” he said.

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