Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Putin Approves Sale of Italian Bank Intesa’s Russian Subsidiary

Intesa Sanpaolo’s Moscow office. Sergei Savostyanov / TASS

President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree allowing for the sale of Italian banking group Intesa Sanpaolo’s Russian operations. 

Intesa, Italy’s largest bank, stopped new financing to corporate Russian clients and fresh investments in Russian assets after Moscow invaded Ukraine last year.

In a “special decision” dated Thursday, Putin exempted Intesa from his 2022 ban on banking and energy companies from “unfriendly countries” to sell their Russian assets.

Putin’s decree allows for the transaction of 100% of Intesa’s shares in Russia.

Intesa is among the few Western banks that have continued to operate in Russia as the Kremlin has tightened exit requirements for foreign-owned companies. 

Putin’s decree “could pave the way for similar [exit] approvals,” affecting lenders such as Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank and Italy’s UniCredit, which both continue to do business in the country, according to Reuters.

Intesa has not yet commented on the Russian president’s decision.

Moscow previously threatened to block the sale of foreign banks' Russia-based operations as long as Russian banks abroad were unable to operate without restriction. 

The European Central Bank issued a rare public call this summer for all remaining eurozone banks to exit Russia “as soon as they can.” 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more