EU might unfreeze some assets of seven Russian banks for food trade
PARIS. July 20 (Interfax) - The European Union is considering lifting some sanctions on seven Russian banks to support trade in food and fertilizers, French TV channel TF1 reported on Tuesday evening.
The partial easing of EU sanctions would apply to VTB , Promsvyazbank (PSB) , VEB.RF, Novikombank, Sovcombank, Otkritie FC Bank and Bank Rossiya, TF1 said.
The authorities of EU countries might allow the unfreezing of some frozen funds or economic resources belonging to the banks after they ascertain that these funds or resources are necessary for the purchase, import or transportation of agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilizers, TF1 said, citing a copy of the European Commission proposal it obtained.
This proposal is supposed to be approved by the EU's Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper), which is expected to give the green light for a package of additional sanctions against Russia but also approve the "improvement" of the application of a number of measures imposed earlier.
If Coreper approves the EC proposal, it will be confirmed by the EU Council on July 20 and published in the EU's official journal so it can go into effect as soon as possible, TF1 said.
The EU is under pressure from its African partners, who imported more than half of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine before Russia's military operation, the TV channel said.