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G7 leaders warn of additional sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

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31 July 2014

G7 leaders in a joint statement have warned Russia of additional economic sanctions if Moscow did not change the course of its Ukraine policy, The Moscow Times reported.

The statement from the leaders of the G7 countries - the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain - came as a show of solidarity among allies.

They expressed grave concern that Russian actions had undermined "Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence."

"Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation," the statement said yesterday, a day following Europe and the US imposing a fresh round of sanctions. "If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions."

The G7 leaders want a ceasefire at the crash site of the Malaysian jet that was shot down on 17 July in eastern Ukraine.

They also called for a sustainable ceasefire between Ukraine's military and pro-Russian separatists in the east.

Meanwhile, according to Reuters, Russian banks and companies kept out of western funding markets ware not  likely to be welcomed in Asia, according to international bankers and industry experts.

Fresh sanctions clamped by Washington and Europe over the Ukraine crisis had led firms such as VTB - Russia's second-largest bank by assets - and Gazprombank seek new sources of funding in the east.

Banks and investors in Asia, are wary about any involvement with Russian lenders, leaving the Russian central bank as the only obvious alternative, apart from Chinese currency bonds, whose borrowing costs were rising and the market was too small to plug the gap left by western capital markets.

The Islamic bond market too remains problematic.

The EU and the US came out with sweeping sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, targeting its energy, banking and defence sectors, launching their strongest international action till now over Moscow extending support to rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Wealthy Russians looking to park their money outside Europe and the US were also faced a circumspect welcome in Singapore, Asia's private banking hub, where wealth managers are increasingly choosy about whose cash they handled.

Reuters quoted Satish Bakhda, chief operating officer for Singapore at Rikvin, which helps people and businesses set up companies, as saying, a lot of Russian money wanted to come to Singapore but a lot of it was not clean, so banks had tightened up all their rules.





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