Skip to content
Edit post

Media: Austria backs EU sanctions package after Raiffeisen suspended from war sponsor list

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk December 17, 2023 12:02 AM 2 min read
The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is pictured above the entrance of the bank's headquarters building on Feb. 1, 2023 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo: Heinz-Peter Bader/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Austria supported the EU's 12th sanction package against Russia after Ukraine suspended the inclusion of the Raiffeisen Bank in the war sponsors list, Reuters reported on Dec. 16, citing an EU diplomat.

Media reports emerged ahead of the Dec. 14-15 European Council summit that Vienna is delaying the newest package in an effort to remove the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from Kyiv's blacklist.

Even though EU countries publicly announced the 12th package during the summit, EUObserver wrote that Austria continues to hold out on account of the RBI.

The website of Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAZK) now reads that the inclusion of the RBI in the international sponsors of war list is "suspended for the period of bilateral consultations involving representatives of the European Commission."

"Austria has now lifted its reserve. Sanctions (against Russia) should now be formally adopted this coming week," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalist Rikard Jozwiak reported.

Despite the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the RBI, Austria's second-largest bank lender, has continued to operate in Russia.

The bank has long-standing ties with Russia and is only one of only two foreign banks classified as "systemically important" by the Russian central bank.

Czechia opened an investigation of the RBI in August over its ongoing business activities in Russia after the Czech Association for the Rights of Citizens and Entrepreneurs highlighted that Raiffeisen's Russia-based companies had paid up to $720 million from their profits to the Russian state budget in taxes.

The European Central Bank (ECB) urged Raiffeisen on March 24 to devise an exit strategy for selling or shutting down the group's Russia branch of operations.

The bank responded to the criticism by saying that it is reducing its business activity in the country, minimizing "the RBI Group's cross-border exposure to Russia," and exploring ways of selling or spinning off its Russian branch, but no further updates have been provided.

Investigation: Italian company makes sure Russian war machine has the steel it needs
Editor’s note: This story was published by the Dutch investigative outlet Follow The Money on Dec. 14. The Kyiv Independent contributed reporting to this story and is republishing it with permission. Key facts: * After Russia seized Crimea and unleashed the war in the Donbas in 2014, the Italian…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

9:50 PM

Media: Zelensky may visit Armenia in near future.

President Volodymyr Zelensky may visit Armenia in “the near future,” the Armenian news outlet FactorTV reported on Feb. 23. Preparations for the visit are currently underway, but the exact date has not yet been confirmed, the outlet reported, citing its sources.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
7:23 PM

Canada announces new sanctions against Russia.

Canada's new sanctions will target those who provide Russia with military equipment, offer services such as insurance to Russian soldiers, and otherwise help support the finances and logistics of the Russian state
2:36 PM

Ukraine, Denmark finalize long-term security agreement.

The U.K., Germany, and France have earlier signed similar deals to help Ukraine repel Russia's aggression based on a pledge made by the Group of Seven (G7) last July. Denmark is the first non-G7 country to finalize the deal.
1:59 PM

Biden announces new package of sanctions against Russia.

“Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksei Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement published by the White House.
1:40 PM

US Senate Majority Leader arrives in Lviv for talks with Zelensky.

"I am leading this delegation to meet with President (Volodymyr Zelensky) to show the Ukrainian people that America stands with them, to show our NATO and European allies we stand with them, to learn about the arms Ukraine vitally needs, and to protect our democracy and national security," Chuck Schumer wrote on the social media platform X.
12:58 PM

Zelensky, Danish PM meet in Lviv.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrived in Lviv for an official visit, Zelensky said on Feb. 23, according to his Telegram channel.
12:33 PM

Ex-US special representative for Ukraine: Putin would escalate if he could.

The White House's strategy to avoid escalation by setting limits on military supplies for Ukraine does not work, as Russian President Vladimir Putin would "escalate today if he could," Kurt Volker, a former U.S. special representative for Ukraine, told the Kyiv Independent during a press conference on Feb. 23.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.