Japan to sanction more Russian lenders from April 2

Japan will freeze the assets of four more Russian banks on April 2, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki announced on Thursday, bringing the total number of such penalties imposed by Tokyo to seven.

The decision to freeze the assets of VTB Bank, Sovcombank, Novikombank, and Otkritie was approved by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s cabinet, according to a document released by the Ministry of Finance.

According to a ministry official, the change will take effect on April 2. All of the banks have ties to the Russian government. The extent of their assets was not immediately revealed, but according to the official, VTB Bank is the second-largest Russian bank in terms of assets.

Asset freezes have been imposed on dozens of people, including Belarus’ president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has given a base for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Tokyo has also decided to prohibit exports to Belarus.

“Japan will firmly implement (the sanctions) together with other members of G7,” the Group of Seven advanced nations, Suzuki told reporters.

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