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Russian banks fail to access R3 blockchain consortium membership – Report
According to latest reports, financial innovation firm R3 has denied entry to Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank by assets, along with informally signaling the same to four other Russian banks, Kommersant reported.
R3 made its stance clear, saying that the application will be rejected because of international sanctions. A source told Kommersant that the bank’s application to join the blockchain consortium “would not pass due to the sanctions”, as quoted by CoinFox.
“Sberbank turned to R3 to join a business community, but it did not work,” the source added.
Notably, Sberbank became a member of the Linux Foundation’s HyperLedger blockchain project in September 2016. Also, the only Russian company to become a member of the blockchain consortium is electronic payments provider QIWI.
Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman at Sberbank, said that the bank did not submit an official application for R3 membership. However, sources in the Russian banking community believe otherwise and are saying that the bank did, in fact, send a request to R3.
Since February 2014, international sanctions against Russian individuals, banks and corporations are in effect due to the country's involvement in military actions in eastern Ukraine. Khasis said that the reason not to apply for R3 membership was not just the US-imposed sanctions:
“This is not only about the sanctions. The general attitude about Russia in the world is very complex now… There is no point to want [to join R3] if they don’t want us. When they want us, we’ll see if we want them.”
Other Russia-based financial institutions including Ak Bars, Alfa-Bank, Otkritie Bank, and National Settlement Depository, were also interested in joining R3 but were denied.