MOSCOW, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Russia's central bank said Wednesday that it is ready to take measures to support the banks hit by new U.S. sanctions.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday announced sanctions against three state-owned Russian banks, namely the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank OAO.
"Adequate measures will be taken, if necessary, to support these organizations to protect the interests of their clients, depositors and creditors," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted the central bank as saying.
Moreover, the European Union (EU) on Tuesday agreed on a package of "significant" additional restrictive measures targeting Russia's finance, defense and energy sectors.
Chairman of Russian state oil company Rosneft Alexander Nekipelov on Wednesday said that recent sanctions adopted by the West will not critically affect the Russian oil sector.
"The sector is strong enough and will overcome the difficulties. Sanctions do not mean an immediate stop, and the work will go on," Nekipelov said, adding that some plans would probably be revised and some necessary alternatives would be taken.
Nekipelov also said it was "highly unlikely" for the U.S. ExxonMobil company to be forced to suspend or sharply restrict their cooperation.
The two companies just announced in May their joint development projects of four sea shelf deposits off Siberian northern shores.
"As far as we know, Exxon does not have plans to stop cooperation with Rosneft, and we hope the situation will not go that far," said Nekipelov.
Meanwhile, the European Business Association (EBA) said Wednesday that the new round of Western sanctions will not only harm Russian economy, but also restrict the economic growth of the EU and Ukraine.
The EBA "deeply regrets the new sanctions" and urged all the relevant parties of the Ukrainian conflict to make de-escalatory efforts, according to a press release.
Punitive measures from the EU, the United States and other Western countries are driven by allegations that Russia has been involved in the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which killed all 298 people on board.