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U.S. Advises Wall Street Not To Participate In Russian Bond Sale

The U.S. government has advised top Wall Street firms not to participate in a Russian bond sale to avoid counteracting U.S. sanctions on Moscow, media sources report.

The U.S. departments of State and Treasury warned banks ahead of a planned $3 billion bond issue, Russia's first since sanctions were imposed over its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russia invited prominent U.S. investment banks Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley, among others, to underwrite the issue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Russia also invited European and Chinese banks to participate.

Current sanctions against Russian individuals and firms don’t explicitly prohibit banks from pursuing the new underwriting business.

But U.S. officials are quoted as saying any help for Russian financing runs counter to U.S. policy, as the money raised by Moscow could go to sanctioned entities.

Russian officials denounced what they called U.S. "intimidation" on February 25.

Presidential aide Andrei Belousov said he didn't expect it to complicate Russia's financing plans or make them more costly.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak said Russia has ample choices among the banks that responded to Russia's inquiries.

Based on reporting by The Wall Street Journal, AFP, and TASS

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