MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia's second largest commercial bank, VTB, on Wednesday denied allegations that it serves accounts of the Syrian government.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal, Kelly Ayotte, John Cornyn and Jeanne Shaheen on Tuesday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to slap sanctions on Russian banks which they said were helping finance the Syrian government.
Besides VTB, which controls more than 30 banks in over 20 countries, they also mentioned Gazprombank and Vnesheconombank.
"The allegations of four U.S. senators are absolutely unveracious. The VTB has no accounts belonging to the Syrian leadership. We see the senators' words as a provocation attempt to mislead the U.S. public," VTB said in a statement published on its website.
The bank added that the letter of "irresponsible" U.S. politicians was aimed at pumping tension around Syria and undermining peace efforts there.
The episode came just days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached a deal that allows Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international control rather than face possible U.S. military action.
In January, the U.S. Treasury warned that major Russian banks should beware dealing with two blacklisted Syrian financial institutions, namely, Syria's central bank and the Commercial Bank of Syria.
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