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National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has called on the leaders of international banking groups to halt their Russian operations to further isolate Moscow’s economy.  

NBU governor Kyrylo Shevchenko said that the move will hinder Russia’s ability to finance its war on Ukraine.

“After all, any further financial transactions with the institutions based in Russia and any taxes paid into its budget can and will abet in the commission of war crimes and acts of terrorism against the civilian population of Ukraine,” Shevchenko’s statement read.

The governor noted that the measures taken so far have not been effective and therefore banking groups around the world should take further actions to put pressure on Moscow.

By suspending operations in Russia, international players in the financial services market will amplify the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia, Shevchenko added.

Shevchenko said: “Failure to halt operations in Russia may carry additional reputational risks for your organisations not only in our country but in Europe as a whole. In its struggle against the occupier, Ukraine has actually galvanised support from the majority of European governments, the international business community, and the people living in these countries.”

Several western banking firms have already paused their Russian operations and some are even considering exiting the county altogether.

Earlier this week, SEB Bank and BNP Paribas releveled plans of scaling down their operations in Russia.

Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank and Italian banking major UniCredit are among those that could exit their Russian operations.