Fragile political tensions between Moscow and Washington, D.C. took a turn for the worse this evening, as Russia’s second biggest bank revealed it has sold its New York-based business.
Citing geopolitical reasons, Russian financial services provider VTB said it had disposed of its US broker arm VTB Capital, which is now an independent company called Xtellus Capital Partners.
VTB said: "Given the current geopolitical situation such a change… is the most appropriate way to continue servicing our Russian and global clients."
There will be no direct VTB presence in the US following today's comments, which underline the nervous climate among Russian business executives who fear a new round of sanctions could dent their ability to do business with Western clients.
Tense relations between the Kremlin and the White House have loomed large since a nerve agent attack in Britain prompted president Donald Trump to create sanctions earlier this month that could terminate some arms sales and financing to Russia.