Ukraine temporarily removed OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest lender, off its list of “international sponsors of war” in an effort to unlock military aid from the European Union, a move that had been demanded by Budapest.
(Bloomberg) — Ukraine temporarily removed OTP Bank, Hungary’s largest lender, off its list of “international sponsors of war” in an effort to unlock military aid from the European Union, a move that had been demanded by Budapest.
The Ukrainian National Agency on Corruption Prevention also suspended five Greek shipping companies from the list, according to a statement on its website.
The moves followed “negotiations between the agency’s representatives and representatives of companies and governments in these countries” to terminate cooperation Russia, the Kyiv-based agency said.
“The agency hopes that this decision will lead to Hungary’s unblocking of €500 million ($529 million) of vital EU military aid” and eliminate the possibility of Greece blocking a future EU sanctions package aimed at Russia.
Read more: Orban Says Ukraine Can’t Win War as He Justifies Veto on Aid
The agency created the “sponsors of war” list after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 as a way to pressure on companies that continue to operate in Russia. One of the list’s “levers” is cooperation with the World-Check database, which is used by banks and insurance companies to assess risk. Chinese companies currently dominate, followed by the US; the companies named include Xiaomi Corp, Mondelez Internatonal Inc, Unilever Plc, Pepsico Inc andRaiffeisen Bank International AG.
The agency added OTP bank to the list in May, spurring a strong response from Hungary, which immediately said it would block the EU’s military aid.
OTP maintains business in Russia and Ukraine but it has said that a presidential decree is preventing it from selling its Russian unit. It has rejected claims of supporting Russia’s war and has publicly backed Ukraine.
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