Ex-Im bank suspends deals with Russia

The Export­-Import Bank is suspending all deals with Russia and Russian companies as part of President Obama's increased sanctions against Moscow.

An Ex-Im official told The Hill that bank officials said they have not approved any medium- or long-term transactions with Russian companies since February as a result of the crisis in Ukraine.

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Officials have also immediately halted all potential new deals with Russia because of an "expected increased risk that retaliatory actions and other anticipated events will materially affect reasonable assurance of repayments from legal entities in the Russian Federation."

On Tuesday, Obama announced that the U.S. and Europe were expanding sanctions to target key sectors of the Russian economy after the downing last week of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The flight which crashed with nearly 300 on board is believed to have been brought down by a missile fired from territory in eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian separatists. The administration has accused Moscow of continuing to supply pro-­Russian militants in Ukraine with weaponry. 

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the Treasury Department had notified him that they were suspending Ex-­Im assistance for Moscow.

Hensarling, a strong critic of the bank, said the president had made “the right decision.”

“There is no justifiable reason why the Export­-Import Bank should be allowed to continue financing deals that benefit Russian companies, so I’m pleased the President took this action today that I suggested," Hensarling said in a statement, first obtained by the Hill.

Last week, Hensarling had urged the administration to halt Ex-­Im financing to Russia in a letter to the administration, saying that the bank “offers sweetheart deals to Russian companies.”

This story was updated at 4:58 p.m.

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