6 May 2022 09:22

PSB opens office in Crimea, gets requests to finance local projects totaling 40 bln rubles

SIMFEROPOL. May 6 (Interfax) - Promsvyazbank (PSB) , which has opened its first office in Crimea, has already received applications to finance infrastructure and construction projects on the Black Sea peninsula totaling 40 billion rubles, the Russian state lender said.

"PSB is already reviewing projects totaling more than 40 billion rubles and we are prepared to provide comprehensive support to the region's population and businesses," bank chairman Pyotr Fradkov was quoted as saying in the press release.

Fradkov has signed an agreement with the leader of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, on cooperation between the bank and the republic's Council of Ministers.

PSB said it is prepared to provide assistance in the implementation of investment projects, including ones carried out under private-public partnerships and concessions, as well as provide financial support to energy companies in the region.

The bank opened its first Crimean office in Simferopol. "We are already providing services to residents and businesses of the peninsula, and have opened two offices, in Sevastopol and Simferopol. This is just the beginning. We will continue to expand our presence, open universal PSB offices in a new format in Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea and grow the size of the business in all directions," Fradkov said.

Only a limited number of banks operate in Crimea and they have all been subject to sanctions for many years. The largest Russian banks have repeatedly said they do not want to open branches in Crimea due to the inevitable threat of being hit by tough U.S. and EU sanctions.

However, in February 2022 the United States, European Union and UK imposed blocking sanctions against PSB and a number of other Russian banks that include a freeze on assets in these countries. President Vladimir Putin later ordered PSB to open branches in Crimea by October 1, 2022.