October 22, 2018 / 10:11 AM / a month ago

Russian oligarch under U.S. sanctions files suit against Nordic banks

HELSINKI/MOSCOW, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Russian businessman Boris Rotenberg, under U.S. sanctions over the Ukraine conflict due to his close ties with President Vladimir Putin, has filed a lawsuit accusing four Nordic banks of breaching service contracts in Finland, a court said on Monday.

The lawsuit, which was presented at Helsinki district court on Oct. 4, targets Nordea, Danske Bank, Handelsbanken and OP Bank.

The court and the banks declined to comment beyond confirming the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for Rotenberg declined to comment.

Rotenberg and his brother Arkady are both under U.S. sanctions over Russia’s role in the Ukraine, but Boris Rotenberg was not put under European sanctions because he also holds a Finnish passport.

European banks must comply with U.S. sanctions in order to do business with American banks.

“Danske Bank is aware of Mr Rotenberg’s claims but cannot comment on this individual ongoing matter due to corporate policy,” a Danske spokesman said in an email.

He added that Danske — which has recently been hit by a money-laundering scandal at its Estonian branch — “takes money-laundering prevention and sanctions very seriously and has made significant efforts to ensure that all regulations are complied with.” (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Anne Kauranen in Helsinki, Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow)

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