Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has put his foot down over the blacklisting of Greek companies
After the serious spat between the governments of Ukraine and Hungary over a list that publishes the names of international corporate entities that Kyiv regards as “sponsors of war”, another government has signaled that it will not sign up to the latest round of sanctions against Russia, unless its own companies are removed from the controversial document.
According to media reports, Athens has taken issue with the Zelensky government’s attitude towards Greek companies that had preserved some level of relationship with Russia, albeit not in violation of the current international sanctions. The 11th sanctions package currently on the table in Brussels is primarily designed to introduce pressure on countries that are trying to circumvent the previous ten rounds of sanctions, and do business with Moscow. Athens has signaled that they might not sign it until Greek companies are removed from the arbitrary list.
The said list is not legally binding, however, it could seriously damage a company’s image and reputation, and might even deter investors from doing business with these entities. Furthermore, the directory has not been compiled by random activists or concerned citizens, it is published on an official Ukrainian government website.
OTP Bank. Photo: Facebook
Last week Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó underscored that there was an enormous pressure for the next €500 million tranche of the European Peace Facility and for the eleventh package of sanctions against Russia to be approved. The minister pointed out that 5.7 billion euros from the European Peace Facility had already been used to finance arms transfers to Ukraine, and although Hungary believes that this poses an escalation threat, the government has so far not prevented the payments.
However, this time Hungary made it clear that it would oppose the new tranche until Ukraine removed leading Hungarian bank OTP, which does not violate any international law, from the list of international sponsors of the war.
Featured Image: Facebook Kyriakos Mitsotakis