Hungary "still needs guarantees," that the Hungarian OTP bank will not be reinstated to Ukraine's international sponsors of war list, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Oct. 4.
The temporary suspension of the bank from the list on Sept. 29 represents a "step in the right direction," Szijjarto said at a press conference in Budapest.
Ukraine's National Agency for Corruption Prevention (NACP) provisionally removed the bank, along with five Greek shipping companies, in the hope that this would "lead to Hungary’s unblocking of €500 million of vital EU military aid for the Ukrainian people, and will also eliminate the possibility of Greece blocking the future EU sanctions package" against Russia.
The international sponsor of war list is designed to be "a powerful reputational tool," to encourage the exit of international business from Russia, the NACP explains on its website.
However, the decision to "temporarily suspend" the inclusion of OTP Bank and the shipping companies was made following negotiations between the NACP, national governments, and representatives of the companies, according to the agency.
Szijjarto said that the temporary removal of the bank from the list demonstrates that it was included for "unfounded, false and ridiculous" reasons in the first place, Ukrainska Pravda reported.
The Russian division of OTP Bank is still on a Ukrainian sanctions list, along with four of the bank's managers, the Foreign Minister claimed.
"We expect that these four managers of OTP Bank and the Russian unit will be removed from the list," Szijjarto said.
OTP Bank will be fully removed from the list once it has fulfilled the conditions agreed upon with regarding cooperation with Russia, the NACP said.