China is under unprecedented US, EU pressure over Russian payments, says Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Beijing is under unprecedented U.S. and EU pressure to be tough on Moscow, the Kremlin said on Thursday, commenting on the refusal of some Chinese banks to accept payments from Russia.

Russian business people in January drew attention to problems with settlements with Chinese banks. The United States has been threatening banks in countries such as Turkey and China with secondary sanctions for facilitating trade with Russia.

The Izvestia newspaper, citing market sources, said on Thursday that Chinese banks Ping An Bank and Bank of Ningbo had halted processing payments in Chinese currency from Russia.

The newspaper also said that DBS Bank, Great Wall West China Bank and China Zheshang Bank had introduced some restrictions on operations with Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the situation with Chinese banks had caused problems, but said they could be overcome.

“Of course, unprecedented pressure from the United States and the European Union on the People’s Republic of China continues, including in the context of relations with us,” Peskov told a daily conference call with reporters.

“This, of course, creates certain problems, but cannot become an obstacle to the further development of our trade and economic relations (with China),” Peskov said, adding that Russia and China could overcome such obstacles.

Russia has become a top exporter of oil to China as it shifts trade away from Europe, which imposed wide-ranging sanctions against Moscow following the start of what the Kremlin called a special military operation in Ukraine in February 2022.

(Reporting by Reuters; Writing by Alexander Marrow and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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