MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova Group received a credit line from Promsvyazbank last week to support the business after it was hit by U.S. sanctions, Russia’s finance ministry said on Monday.
It is the first instance of state support to a Russian company targeted in a wave of U.S. sanctions imposed in April in response to Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections and what Washington called other “malign activities”.
Earlier on Monday, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the government was working on extending credit support, via Promsvyazbank, to two other companies hit by the sanctions: aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal (0486.HK) and GAZ GAZ.MM.
“The Renova company, sanctioned by the United States, last week received support in the form of credit line from Promsvyazbank, provided on a repayable basis,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
“Government funds were not used for this purpose,” the finance ministry added.
Russia’s central bank took over Promsvyazbank in a bailout last year. The lender was then earmarked by the government to provide credit to sanctioned entities so that other lenders could offload the risk.
As a result of Washington’s sanctions, all U.S. dollar bank accounts of companies controlled by Renova have been blocked and assets totaling between $1.5 billion and $2 billion have been frozen, sources told Reuters in April.
Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Mark Potter