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Published: Thursday April 17, 2014 MYT 3:05:02 AM
Updated: Thursday April 17, 2014 MYT 3:05:59 AM

Ukraine says investigating Russia's Sberbank for financing separatists

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has launched a criminal investigation against Russia's biggest lender Sberbank for facilitating financing of pro-Russian separatists, acting Attorney General Oleh Makhnitsky said on Wednesday.

Makhnitsky said the Attorney General's office was investigating 14 banks for helping to finance separatists who have taken over a number of buildings in eastern Ukraine, but he did not say whether all the investigations were criminal.

"A criminal investigation has been launched against, for example, Sberbank Russia, and work is underway in that direction ... for financing terrorism," Makhnitsky said in an interview on Fifth Channel television.

On Tuesday, Ukraine's state security service said an unnamed Russian bank transferred 45 million hryvnia (2.2 million pounds) between March and April for the financing of militant groups.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Conor Humphries, editing by David Evans)

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