Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Time for Trump to remove sanctions against Russian banks, says VTB President

First sanctions to fall will be those on Russian financials: VTB Bank President

President-elect Donald Trump should prioritize lifting sanctions on Russian banks, the President of Russia's second-biggest lender said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

It is unfair that U.S. financials have risen 30 percent in the wake of Trump's victory given Wall Street strongly backed Democrat Hillary Clinton for the presidency, while Russian banking stocks have barely moved, contended Andrey Kostin, president and chairman of VTB Bank.

Time for the President-elect to 'compensate' for this, quipped Kostin, as he raised the topic of the sanctions imposed by the U.S. on certain Russian financial institutions in 2014 in response to his government's activities in Ukraine.

Donald Trump speaks at the USA Thank You Tour event at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wisconsin, U.S., December 13, 2016.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

"I think Mr. Trump should remove sanctions against the four leading Russian banks," said Kostin, pointing out that the country's banks could not privatize any further or borrow from institutions in the West due to the restrictions.

"We definitely very much believe from what Mr. Trump said that he would have a much more constructive dialogue with Russia on international affairs as well as bilateral," he continued, sounding an optimistic tone with regards to his expectations for the incoming administration.

The VTB president also spoke to what he saw as the potential for financial institutions in a world beyond sanctions.

"It would be very helpful. It didn't kill us, we are still working and we are still making profit in Russia, but of course that very much made our future not as bright as we expected."

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