June 5, 2023

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Green light from the US for JPMorgan payments to Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase has received the green light from the United States to process payments for Russia’s Agrarian Bank, but the path is no substitute for reconnecting the bank to Swift’s payment system.

A Russian source told Reuters.

Reconnecting the bank to Swift is one of Russia’s most important demands in negotiations over the future of the Black Sea grain export deal. Moscow has repeatedly warned that the deal will collapse unless the West eases obstacles to Russian exports of grain and fertilizer.

JPMorgan has acquired Ofac’s license [U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control] “To make payments related to agricultural exports, but transactions are difficult,” said the Russian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said, “He can’t replace Swift.”

JPMorgan did not respond to requests for comment.

Another source familiar with the deal said JPMorgan had been asked by the State Department and the US Treasury to conduct a “very limited, highly controlled” transaction related to the export of agricultural materials, which took place this month.

(Translated by Luca Fratangelo, edited by Gianluca Cemraro)

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