Small Russian banks are participating in schemes to finance Iranian oil exports, which are the
target of U.S. and European sanctions against Tehran, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak
“Large (banks) are not taking part. Small ones are, yes,” Novak told reporters, in the first such
confirmation by a top Russian official.
In 2011, the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring buyers of Iranian oil to make significant cuts
to their oil purchases, or risk being cut off from the U.S. financial system.
The European Union followed suit by imposing sanctions last July against Iran’s oil and shipping
industries which barred Europe-based insurers from covering tankers that carry Iranian oil.
Later, it also added bans on financial transactions and on sales to Iran of shipping equipment,
among other measures.