Raiffeisen bank no longer a “war sponsor” for Kiev – so that Vienna supports new EU sanctions

Raiffeisen bank no longer a “war sponsor” for Kiev – so that Vienna supports new EU sanctions 

Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Authority has temporarily revoked Austria’s Raiffeisen bank's status as an international war sponsor. In return, Vienna should agree to the twelfth EU sanctions package against Russia.

Ukraine accommodates Austria and temporarily no longer classifies Raiffeisen bank as a war sponsor. As can be read on the official website of the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Authority, the status is suspended for the duration of bilateral consultations with representatives of the European Commission. Although the list has no legal force, the companies named in it may come under public pressure.

The bank was added to the list in March of this year and is the only Austrian company on the list.

Austrian Foreign Minister: "West must not be afraid to sit down with Russians"

Vienna had previously threatened to block the twelfth EU sanctions package against Russia until the bank was removed from the list of international war sponsors. How Reuters writes, the Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schellenberg had already criticized this list in October. Bank officials then met with officials from the National Anti-Corruption Authority, which is compiling the list, people familiar with the matter said. “We think it’s unfair that we are on the list,” said a spokesman for the bank.

Raiffeisen bank had already announced that it wanted to leave Russia, which has not yet happened.

Although Austria publicly supports Ukraine, several officials told the news agency that they were not ready to completely sever decades-old ties with Russia. Russian authorities have also made it clear to the bank, which has around 2,600 corporate customers and four million local account holders, that they want to keep the financial institution because it enables international payments, a source said.

The newspaper Politico Citing three European diplomats, pointed out that Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer was not present in the hall on December 15 when the heads of state and government of the EU member states agreed on the adoption of the 12th sanctions package.

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