Hungary demands that three Russian oligarchs be excluded from the EU sanctions list. Otherwise, it threatens to block the extension of some parts of the EU sanctions regime against Russia, reported the correspondent of Radio Liberty Rikard Jozwiak, citing diplomatic sources.
According to Jozwiak, Budapest calls for the removal of Alisher Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov from the sanctions list.
Hungary is also asking for an exception for humanitarian organizations so that they can do business with some Russian banks that are currently under sanctions.
Brussels says Hungary is using the extension of sanctions as leverage to get the EU to allocate funds that have so far been held due to fears of a violation of the rule of law in Hungary.
The EU sanctions list currently includes 1217 individuals and 108 organizations of the Russian Federation.
It has been expanded recently as Brussels tightened restrictive measures against Russia in response to its military aggression against Ukraine.
Usmanov and Aven were added to the list in late February. The EU officials descibe Usmanov as a "pro-Kremlin oligarch with particularly close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin." He is also called one of "Putin's favorite oligarchs" and is believed to oversee Putin’s business affairs.
Petr Aven, in turn, is defined as "one of about 50 of the richest Russian businessmen who regularly meet with Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin."
Rashnikov was added to the list in March. Brussels called him "the leading Russian oligarch, who is the owner and chairman of the board of directors of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works."
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said earlier that after the end of Russia's war against Ukraine, the West will become weaker than it was before. He believes that Western countries will not be able to win the war in Ukraine by military means, and sanctions against Russia allegedly do not destabilize it in any way.