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Ukraine removes Hungarian OTP bank from sanctions list, hoping to get military aid unblocked

The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption’s decision aims to break Hungary’s blockade of EU military aid for Ukraine, which is around $530 million.
Photo: OTP Bank
Ukraine removes Hungarian OTP bank from sanctions list, hoping to get military aid unblocked

On 28 September, Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP) temporarily suspended the status of the Hungarian OTP Bank and 5 Greek shipping companies from the list of international war sponsors, NACP reported.

According to the statement, the decision aims to break Hungary’s blockade of 500 million euros (about $530 mn) in EU military aid for Ukraine. The five Greek carrier companies, Dynacom Tankers Management (DTM), Delta Tankers LTD, Thenamaris Ships Management Inc., Minerva Marine, TMC Tankers LTD, and the Hungarian OTP Bank will have their status temporarily suspended while negotiations are ongoing.

In May 2023, the Hungarian Foreign Minister said they would block the next tranches of EU military support for Ukraine and any new EU sanctions package against Russia until the OTP Bank was removed from Ukraine’s list of war sponsors.

The NACP also hopes that this decision will eliminate the possibility that Greece will block the future EU sanctions package aimed at reducing the ability of Russia to continue its war against Ukraine.

On 4 May 2023, the NACP added Hungarian OTP Bank to the list of international war sponsors. The decision was made due to the position of the bank’s management to continue operations in Russia and the de facto recognition of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “republics.”

On 7 August 2023, the NACP returned five Greek shipping companies to the list of war sponsors.

In September 2023, Ukraine’s leading job portal, Work.ua, stopped working with all companies still operating in Russia, including OTP Bank. Work.ua saw this as an “immovable dignity” issue in rejecting those who have not exited Russia.

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