In a bid to join the EU’s various sanctions against Russia, centrist-liberal opposition party Momentum’s András Fekete-Győr calls on the Hungarian government to expel the International Investment Bank (IIB), which he calls a “Russian spy bank.”
Besides criticizing Viktor Orbán and the Hungarian government over its alleged halfhearted actions by the Western alliance and in condemnation of Russia’s aggression, Fekete-Győr posted to social media calling Germany’s decision to halt the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea gas pipeline project an “exemplary action.”
In this spirit, we urge the Hungarian Government to support the EU’s actions and to stand up for the principle of national sovereignty. Expel immediately from Hungary the diplomatically accredited staff of the International Investment Bank, which is considered to be a Russian spy bank, and revoke all privileges related to the institution’s operations in Budapest.
It hit the news in early 2019, that the IIB –revived by Vladimir Putin himself and built on the remnants of the USSR’s Comecon bank- moved its headquarters to Budapest. While the government pointed to the complex ownership (five EU- or NATO member countries are among the shareholders, Hungary being the 2nd largest with 17%), it still has a Russian majority. While the bank itself was denying that it would be a Russian ‘Trojan Horse,’ the New York Times highlighted that IIB Chairman Nikolay Kosov’s time had been spending in various diplomatic postings during the Soviet era, that led ‘Western security officials to believe that Mr. Kosov himself served in Russian intelligence.’ Although IIB denied his involvement, Western and Russian sources showed that Kosov is a descendant of a ‘K.G.B.-family’. Both of his parents were K.G.B agents.
Eventually, IIB received a worthy building just by the Chain Bridge on the Buda side of the capital. Back around the negotiations, fact-finding articles found that the US diplomacy was the one that was insisting against it coming to the vicinity of the US embassy, located at Szabadság Square, on the Pest side.
Meanwhile, the united opposition’s prime-ministerial candidate recently brought up the Paks II upgrade project, implemented by Russia, as a potential target of sanctions.
In the featured photo: Momentum’s András Fekete-Győr. Photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI