Mar 21, 2014 7:18 AM by Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country's central bank to help clients of Rossiya, a Russian lender hit by U.S sanctions.
President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered economic sanctions against nearly two dozen members of Putin's inner circle and Rossiya, Russia's 15th largest lender that provides them support.
Rossiya said Friday that Visa and MasterCard stopped providing services to them. U.S. officials described the bank, which has $12 billion in assets, as a "personal bank for senior officials of the Russian Federation.
Putin denied he had an account there but ordered the country's central bank "take the bank's clients under protection and provide all possible assistance to them."
Putin also said he will open a bank account there on Monday and asked his salary to be transferred there.
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