Calling the action "unacceptable, illegal, and absurd," Russia's foreign ministry says JPMorgan (JPM +0.1%) illegally blocked a payment from one of its embassies to an insurance agency "under the pretext of anti-Russian sanctions."
The payment came from Russia's embassy in Kazakhstan to Russian insurance agency Sogaz. Sogaz is a subsidiary of Bank Rossiya, which is facing U.S. sanctions.
"There is a lot of confusion ... as to what might be the full scope of the sanctions and what we are hearing is while the sanctions are specific, a lot of U.S. companies are adopting a much more risk-averse or cautious approach," says Macro Advisory's Chris Weafer. "There is almost self-sanctioning going on."
JPMorgan doesn't want to anger Russia too much - it generated $55.6M in investment banking fees there last year.