The Moscow Stock Exchange will remain frozen for the third week

The Moscow Stock Exchange said on Saturday that the country’s main exchange would remain closed next week, until March 18. The stock market has not opened since Feb. 25, the day after the invasion and just before the West unveiled a series of punitive sanctions against the financial system.

The suspension delays what is likely to be a painful toll for investors in Russian equities. As trading in Russia has been halted, shares of Russian companies listed on international markets such as London and New York have plunged. Russian businesses risk taking a hit as economy reels from effects of war with Ukraine, including sanctions, withdrawal of Western investors and disruptions to supply chains and difficulties in importing critical parts and materials.

Separately, the Moscow Stock Exchange said that Vadim Kulik, a member of the board of directors of Russian bank VTB, was leaving his post on the stock exchange’s supervisory board.

Mr Kulik, vice chairman and chairman of the board of VTB Bank, was one of 10 board members sanctioned by the US Treasury on Friday. VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest financial institution, was sanctioned on February 24.

The Moscow Exchange statement did not give a reason for Mr. Kulik’s resignation. Spokespersons for VTB and the exchange did not respond to requests for comment.

MSCI Inc. and other index providers removed Russian stocks from global benchmarks in recent days, a move that affects billions of dollars of investment in global markets.

The Russian central bank was also targeted. The Bank for International Settlements, known as the central bank of central banks, has suspended Russia’s use of its services following Western sanctions

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