Hungary is again breaking EU unity. He wants to remove three oligarchs from the sanctions list iRADIO

The planned extension of some sanctions, which were introduced by the European Union against Russia after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, is in danger of being blocked due to Hungary’s disapproving position. Viktor Orbán’s government there demands that the union remove three Russian oligarchs – Ališer Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Viktor Rashnikov – from the sanctions list. He wants the twenty-seven-year-old to lift the ban on them and release their frozen property.



Brussels/Budapest
2:15 p.m September 7, 2022

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Alisher Usmanov (right) with Vladimir Putin in November 2018 | Source: Reuters

Radio Free Europe came up with the information based on diplomatic sources on Tuesday, which was subsequently confirmed by the Politico server. The ambassadors of the EU countries are discussing the sanctions on Wednesday, they have until September 15 to extend the measures.

Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek (STAN) confirmed that the Hungarian demand will be presented in Brussels. “In general terms, I expressed the opinion that solving problems in EU-Hungary relations would benefit if the Hungarian side avoided vetoing joint positions,” the minister said in a statement to iROZHLAS.cz.


Sanctions aimed at Russian elites remained half-way. ‘The elite has gathered around Putin,’ says the expert

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There are 1,217 persons and 108 entities on the EU sanctions list; all EU countries must agree on who is assigned to it. Sanctions have so far achieved only part of their original goals, but the West has not managed to divide the leaders of the Russian regime through them. “On the contrary, they achieved the opposite effect, that the elite gathered around Putin,” Russian expert Pavel Havlíček assessed for iROZHLAS.cz some time ago.

According to the Bloomberg agency, however, the consequences of the sanctions will be “deep and long-lasting”, according to a confidential document for the Russian government, which the agency has at its disposal.

Radio Free Europe reported that Hungary is trying to use the threat of a veto to force Brussels to pay it money from EU funds it is currently withholding due to rule of law violations.

Budapest has still not received money from the EU fund for economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic. Orbán’s government also wants aid organizations to be granted an exemption to work with some sanctioned Russian banks.

Disputed oligarchs

The most important of the three oligarchs that Hungary wants to remove from the list is Ališer Usmanov. The 68-year-old Russian businessman of Uzbek origin is often referred to as Putin’s “favorite oligarch”. He is the author of the statement: “I am proud to know Putin. That no one likes him is not his problem.’


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He indulges in luxury a lot, but lost most of his foreign property due to sanctions. For example, his megayacht Dilbar worth 600 million dollars, which is often referred to as the largest in the world, was confiscated by the German authorities.

His wife, Irina Viner-Usmanova, is a successful businesswoman and, among other things, has coached Russian modern gymnasts all her life. One of her most successful clients was Olympic champion Alina Kabaeva, whom she was able to introduce to President Putin.

Of the sanctioned oligarchs, Usmanov is one of Putin’s closest. The Russian leader listens to him on business matters and entrusts him with a number of tasks related to the financing of the Russian state.

You can read his extensive profile HERE.

Meanwhile, German police seize the world’s largest superyacht, known as “Dilbar”, after “extensive investigations” determined that it is owned by the sister of the sanctioned Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov.
theguardian.com/business/2022/…

17:23 – 14/04/2022


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According to the EU Journal, Pyotr Aven “does not act independently of President Putin’s demands”, while in the 1990s he belonged to a group of influential Russian businessmen known as the Big Seven. Among other things, they lobbied for the re-election of Boris Yeltsin as president and at one time controlled 50-70% of Russian financial flows.

Viktor Rašnikov is described by the EU as “a leading Russian oligarch who is the owner and head of the board of directors of the Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works. This company is one of the largest taxpayers in Russia”.

Series: Russian oligarchs

Their support is essential for the regime, on the other hand, they are successfully profiting from it. However, their life story is often shrouded in mystery. Where did they come from and how did they get their billions? The server iROZHLAS.cz decided to approach the most visible Russian oligarchs. Through the series, we present their profiles.

Hungarian-Russian friendship

This is certainly not the first case when Hungary disrupts the European Union’s unified approach towards Russia and threatens a veto. In the last six months, it has become more of a common theme at negotiations in Brussels.


Orbán remains a ‘Kremlin lawyer’. It defines itself vis-à-vis EU partners and hopes for its own profit

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Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán does not want to get rid of his long-term alliance with Russian President Putin at any cost.

This is manifested, for example, in the fact that Rosatom continues to build the Hungarian Paks nuclear power plant, Orbán refused to join the EU’s restriction of gas supplies from Russia, on the contrary, he accepted the condition of payment in rubles, he refuses to let weapons be transported to Ukraine via Hungary, and he has long criticized the sanctions against Moscow saying that they hurt the union more than Russia.

“Unlike other political leaders, Orbán’s policy did not waver in his Russian orientation. He remained the Kremlin’s advocate and holder of the status quo, which can more or less help Russia. He is definitely doing everything to ensure that Hungary benefits from his approach,” Hungarian political scientist Daniel Hegedüs told iROZHLAS.cz some time ago.

Jakub Grim

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Tags: Hungary breaking unity remove oligarchs sanctions list iRADIO

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