Despite repeated requests by the Hungarian government for Ukrainian authorities to remove one of the largest Hungarian banks, OTP, from an unofficial list of war sponsors, this has not happened to date. However, the Ukrainians seem to have obliged the Greek government by removing their companies from the list, Magyar Nemzet reports.
The Ukrainian National Anti-Corruption Agency has temporarily removed five Greek shipping companies from the list of war sponsors. They are now in a suspended status at the end of the list until bilateral consultations with representatives of the European Commission are concluded. However, the Hungarian OTP Bank remained on the list, with the Ukrainians claiming that it “provides preferential loans to the Russian military, effectively rewarding them for war crimes committed.”
Earlier, both the Hungarian and Greek governments had made it a condition of voting for the new EU sanctions package that their companies be taken off the list.
Although this has not yet happened in the case of Hungary, the EU voted at the ambassadorial level on Wednesday to impose new punitive measures against Russia.
Hungary has so far voted in favor of all the sanctions packages, but there are areas, notably nuclear energy, where the government is not willing to compromise. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó pointed out at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly this week that the Hungarian support of the European Peace Facility proposal was conditional based on the Ukrainian authorities removing OTP Bank from the list.
The only thing we have asked the Ukrainian authorities to do in order to be able to pass the EPF proposal in the European Union is to remove our bank from this list, where it has no business being. Your authorities have not listened to this very simple request.”
I would like to ask you to help us and take the number one Hungarian bank off this list, which is very unfairly listed, and then we will be happy to come back to this issue,” Szijjártó said in response to a Ukrainian MP.
Back in May, the foreign minister already signaled that the government would oppose the new 500 million euros tranche of the European Peace Facility until Ukraine removed OTP, which does not violate any international law, from the list of international sponsors of the war.
Featured photo via Facebook/OTP Bank