The problem is that VEB has already been under U.S. sanctions since July 16, 2014 as a result of Russia’s earlier efforts to destabilize eastern Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea. Those sanctions did not work out so well.
Then there was the December 2016 meeting by VEB’s then Chairman, Sergey Gorkov, a former intelligence officer appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with Jared Kushner, then President-elect Donald Trump’s son-in-law and advisor. Reuters reported in May 2017 that “FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump, said the current U.S. law enforcement official.”
The same New York Times article includes a curious sentence: “Citi and JPMorgan had long, established relationships clearing financial transactions for VEB in the United States, activities not affected by the sanctions.”wallstreetonparade VEB, the Russian Bank Sanctioned by Biden Yesterday, Has an Uncomfortable History with Jared Kushner, JPMorgan and Citigroup