Biden administration encourages Wall Street banks to keep doing business with certain strategic Russian firms, report says

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Biden administration encourages Wall Street banks to keep doing business with certain strategic Russian firms, report says
JPMorgan CEO Jamie DimonMisha Friedman/Getty Images
  • Some firms on Wall Street are continuing their relationship with Russia despite Congress' public opposition, Bloomberg says.
  • The US is reportedly encouraging banks like Citi Group and JPMorgan Chase to keep the status quo.
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Some Wall Street firms are continuing to do business with Russia at the behest of the US government despite Congress publicly condemning the Kremlin.

Bloomberg first reported on Tuesday that banks including Citi and JPMorgan Chase are caught in the middle of the Biden administration's attempts to toe the line of simultaneously condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine without causing more global economic damage.

According to the report, the Biden administration has encouraged US banks to continue business ties with sections of the Russian economy that aren't subject to Western sanctions, but the scope of the conversations between the White House and Wall Street was previously unknown.

The goal, the report says, is to adequately punish Russian president Vladimir Putin for his invasion of Ukraine and stave off Moscow's access to cash while shielding the global economy from more pain. The war in Ukraine has already caused an energy crisis in Europe and upended oil prices as Russia shifts its business partners away from countries seeking to punish them.

The Biden administration has yet to issue a full-scale embargo of the Russian economy, and there's still a slew of businesses that are allowed to deal with the US under the current rules, the report added.

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Both Citigroup and JPMorgan said earlier this year that they would wind down operations in Russia. But both firms have to be cautious, the report says, and subject their exits to a lengthy review process that target specific Russian businesses while maintaining ties with others.

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