Russian companies shut out of Western financial capitals are exploring Hong Kong as an alternative, stoking concern among U.S. officials that the Asian hub will become a haven for businesses sanctioned over the war in Ukraine.

A number of major, including state-owned, Russian companies are seeking to engage with Hong Kong law firms to help anchor them in a "friendlier jurisdiction” than places such as New York and London, said Sherman Yan, a managing partner at Hong Kong’s ONC Lawyers.

At least two other law firms in the Chinese territory have also been approached by Russian companies, some of which inquired about raising capital in the city, according to three people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the discussions are confidential.