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VTB deepens cooperation with China amid U.S. sanctions

CGTN’s Global Business

Dollar dependency, oil uncertainty and U.S. sanctions are weighing on Russia’s economy. Warm China-Russia ties can be helpful, particularly leading to more profitable infrastructure investments, according to Andrey Kostin, the CEO of Russia’s second largest bank, VTB.

China and Russia have signed more than 20 billion U.S. dollars worth of deals to boost economic ties during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. VTB CEO saw China as a natural partner of Russia in terms of geography situation.

“We are neighbors, China is investing in Russia and we will soon start more infrastructure projects including the new airport and new road. And we know the Chinese companies are biggest enough not only invest it but also construct it,” Kostin said.

The Bank’s CEO also cited they are looking for diversity investment for the rest of the world. “For example, the PPP (Public-Private-Partnership) project is the one important area I think companies can invest, this is very profitable investment,” he added.

While the U.S. sanctions escalate, not only the sanction against Russian financial sector but also against Huawei and China’s exports, Kostin said VTB will continue to work with Huawei since it is the natural partner and supports the bank’s digitalization process. Meanwhile, he emphasized the responsibility of protecting our companies from the influence of the dollar.

The trade volume between the VTB and China has reached 108 billion U.S. dollars, VTB aimed 200 billion dollars by the end of 2024 so that strong the settlement in the yuan and ruble.

“The sanction doesn’t apply to payments and settlement, you know they apply only to capital investment and long term loans, so I think we should work more with Chinese banks, and if we works more, we will find the way how to use our currency more,” he said. (CGTN’s Xia Cheng also contributes to this story.)