Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with top officials of the Federal Security Service (FSB, Soviet KGB successor) in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
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Foreign banks in Russia, where sanctions have crippled deal-making, face a prolonged slump after the latest U.S. warning on sanctions. State and Treasury Department officials told several U.S. banks this month that participating in a forthcoming Russian bond sale would run counter to U.S. foreign policy, even if it's not explicitly barred by sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter. Foreign securities firms left in Russia including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are under increasing pressure to assess their positions in the country, with investment-banking revenue at the lowest in more than a decade. Russia solicited Goldman Sachs and more than 20 other banks for proposals to organize a possible return to foreign-debt markets for the first time since 2013, before the annexation of Crimea triggered sanctions that virtually closed the Eurobond market to Russian borrowers.The local units of Raiffeisen Bank International AG and UniCredit SpA are big enough to be considered systemically important by Russia's central bank.
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