Russia is pressing the United States to allow more of its banks to be licensed in this country, but the U.S. administration is insisting that such institutions comply first with U.S. legal requirements. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns briefed reporters after talks held September 27 between Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev. "We would like all banks to be licensed but they have to meet requirements of U.S. law…We treat Russian banks the same as French, British, or Cambodian banks," Burns said, pointing out that the same legal requirements apply to all. (4)
The issue has been on the U.S.-Russia agenda for three years. U.S. law is very specific about what a foreign bank must do to be duly licensed, and especially about how much reserves a financial institution must maintain. The U.S. Treasury Department has determined after thorough investigation that some Russian banks applying for licensing in the U.S. do not meet those standards.
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