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US sanctions Russian lender Evrofinance MosnarBank

The U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions on JSCB Evrofinance-Mosnarbank Bank JSC, a Moscow-based lender jointly owned by Russian and Venezuelan state companies, for allegedly attempting to evade U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.

The bank has materially assisted, sponsored or provided support to Venezuelan state-owned oil firm Petróleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA, the Treasury said March 11. PdVSA has been in the Treasury's sanctions list since January.

"This action demonstrates that the U.S. will take action against foreign financial institutions that sustain the illegitimate Maduro regime and contribute to the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis plaguing the people of Venezuela," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

The bank, for its part, said it is continuing to operate in a stable manner and that it will unconditionally meet its obligations to clients and partners, The Wall Street Journal noted.

In 2011, former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez purchased a 49% stake in Evrofinance through Venezuela's National Development Fund, Fondo De Desarrollo Nacional Fonden SA, while Russian lenders AO Gazprombank and state-owned VTB Bank PJSC each owned a 25% stake in the bank at the time of its incorporation, according to the Treasury.