US, UK and Canadian export credit agencies suspend support to Russia and Belarus over war in Ukraine

A view shows shipping containers stacked at the port of Felixstowe, Britain, October 13, 2021. Photo taken with a drone. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) – Export credit agencies in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada said on Wednesday they were withdrawing new export credit support for Russia and Belarus. following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a joint statement released by the US Export-Import Bank, the agencies said they would continue to fund export support to Ukraine.

“This decision builds on the extensive sets of sanctions and measures imposed on the Russian Federation and Belarus since the start of military operations, and we encourage any AEC that has not yet done so, to join us in this step to impose financial pressure on both countries,” the export credit agencies said in the statement.

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A US EXIM spokesperson said the bank had not provided loans or guarantees to Russian entities since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014 as part of an administrative suspension of processing applications Russians. The bank’s board is due to vote next week on a permanent ban on Russian transactions.

But EXIM still has $428.8 million of prior credit exposure to Russia, mostly for loan guarantees in the aviation sector that were issued before the annexation of Crimea.

Western sanctions on Russian banks and bans on Russian planes make it harder to repay those loans.

“Consistent with recent sanctions, we are working quickly to resolve these transaction refunds,” an EXIM spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

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Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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