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Lithuania central bank removes four Russia-owned companies from payment system

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Lithuania’s central bank removed four Russia-owned companies from its payment system, and told others to not use it for Russia-linked payments.

The system, which serves as a gateway for European SEPA payments in euros, is used by 150 payment companies in 18 European countries, the central bank said.

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“This is in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, international sanctions against Russia by the European Union and other countries, and to prevent attempts to circumvent them,” central bank said in a statement on Friday.

Losing access to the Lithuania’s central bank system means the four companies will not be able to access SEPA payments, central bank said.

The Lithuanian central bank system was used for payments totaling 358 billion euros last year, marking a twofold increase from 2020, central bank said.

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