Russia has accused U.S. banking giant J. P. Morgan of illegally blocking a cash transfer from one of its embassies to a vendor.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement Tuesday, linked the transfer blockage to U.S. sanctions slapped on Moscow for its occupation and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. The Russian statement referred to the annexation as a “reunification.”
The U.S. sanctions, announced by President Barack Obama last month, were approved Tuesday by U.S. lawmakers, along with $1 billion in loan guarantees to the Kyiv government.
The Russian ministry said the transfer blockage prevented its embassy in Kazakhstan from making an insurance payment to a Russian company. It called the bank’s move “unacceptable, illegal and absurd,” and said the White House had “clearly overplayed its hand.” It also warned the blockage will “have consequences” for the U.S. embassy in Russia.
There was no immediate comment from U.S. officials or J. P. Morgan, Voice of America reports.