Austria has agreed to lift its blocking of the 12th package of EU sanctions against Russia after Ukraine removed its bank Raiffeisen from the list of international sponsors of the war.
Source: European Pravda with reference to reporter Rikard Jozwiak and Reuters
Details: The first to report the unblocking of the sanctions package was Radio Liberty’s Brussels correspondent Rikard Jozwiak. He tweeted that Vienna has now “lifted its reserve” and that the sanctions should be adopted this coming week.
Meanwhile, Reuters noted that Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) has removed Raiffeisen from the list of international war sponsors on its website. The fact that this agreement was part of Vienna’s compromise was confirmed by the agency’s source in the EU.
The EU summit decision published on Thursday contained the phrase that the EU “welcomes the adoption” of the 12th package of sanctions against Russia. But later reports revealed that a legal agreement had not yet been reached and was being blocked by Austria due to Raiffeisen being defined as an international sponsor of the war.
Reminder: Raiffeisen is one of the most important financial channels through which Russian businesses conduct transactions in dollars and euros. This allows the bank to make huge profits, from which it then finances the budget of the aggressor country with its taxes.
Notably, Austria’s neighbour Hungary has been blocking the allocation of €500 million from the European Peace Facility, which is used to finance aid for Ukraine, for months because the NACP has added Hungary’s largest bank, OTP Bank, to the list of “war sponsors”.
However, Hungary argues that Ukraine has not provided guarantees that the case of OTP Bank or any other Hungarian company will never be repeated, so it continues to maintain its veto.