Europe

Ukraine imposes sanctions on Russian banks

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed an order imposing sanctions on Russian-owned banks, the latest action designed to protest against Russian support for separatists in the east of the country.

The move is designed to stop local affiliates of three Russian financial institutions operating in Ukraine from moving capital abroad, according to a statement Thursday on the Ukraine presidency website.

The banks affected are Russia's largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, its second largest, state-owned VTB, and Vnesheconombank, the state-owned development bank.

The order comes after nationalists vandalized Russian-owned banks in Kiev and Ukraine's decision earlier this week to impose an economic blockade on rebel-held areas of the country.

Fighting between government forces and Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine has killed more than 9,800 people since April 2014.