MOSCOW: A Russian court has ruled that Deutsche Bank and UniCredit’s assets in Russia are to be seized, documents showed.

European banks have largely exited Russia after Moscow launched its offensive on Kyiv in 2022. A court in Saint Petersburg ruled in favour of seizing 239 million euros ($260 million) from Deutsche Bank, documents dated May 16 showed.

On the same day, it ordered the seizure of around 463 million euros worth of assets belonging to Italy’s UniCredit. Both decisions were issued in answer to a request from RusKhimAlians, which was planning to build a major gas processing and liquefaction plant in cooperation with German company Linde, which pulled out of the project due to Russia’s military assault.

UniCredit executive says chances to cut Russia exposure ‘limited’

RusKhimAlians sued UniCredit and Deutsche Bank — both guarantors of the project. UniCredit was one of the European banks most exposed to Russia when Moscow started its 2022 campaign in Ukraine, with a large local subsidiary operating in the country.

It began preliminary discussions on a sale last year, but the talks haven’t advanced. Chief executive Andrea Orcel said UniCredit wants to leave Russia, but said that gifting an operation worth three billion euros was not a good way to respect the spirit of Western sanctions on Moscow over the war.

Nevertheless, UniCredit has gradually reduced its exposure to Russia and managed to increase the ratio of its capital to risk-weighted assets to 16 percent from 15 percent last year.

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