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Hungary issues more demands following suspension of OTP Bank from 'international sponsors of war' list

by Elsa Court October 4, 2023 6:53 PM 2 min read
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Peter Szijjarto, attends the 26th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia on June 15, 2023. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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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.  

Ukraine adds Chinese oil, gas companies to ‘international sponsors of war’ list
Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) has added the three largest Chinese oil and gas companies to its “international sponsors of war” list, the agency’s press service announced on Oct. 3.
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