Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s government wants the EU to lift the entry ban on Ališer Usmanov, Pyotr Aven and Viktor Rašnikov and to release their frozen assets, according to RFE/RL’s sources.
The ambassadors of the member countries will discuss the extension of the sanctions on Wednesday, and they have until September 15 to extend the measures.
There are 1,217 persons and 108 entities on the EU sanctions list; all EU countries need to agree on who is included on it.
Putin approved a new doctrine, proclaiming the protection of the Russian world
In its official journal, the EU describes Usmanov as a pro-Kremlin oligarch with extremely close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He is referred to as “Putin’s favorite oligarch who negotiates business deals”. According to Brussels, Aven does not act independently of the president’s demands.
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.
RFE/RL writes that there is speculation that Budapest is trying to use the issue of extending the sanctions as a tool to get Brussels to pay it money from EU funds it is withholding due to violations of the principles of the rule of law.
Hungary wants to reduce dependence on gas, investing almost 400 billion crowns
Hungary has still not received money from the EU fund for economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic. His government is also demanding that aid organizations be granted an exemption to work with some sanctioned Russian banks.
Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán criticizes the EU sanctions against Moscow and claims that they have harmed the economy of the 27 countries more than the Russian one, without helping Ukraine.
Among important European politicians, Orbán takes the most favorable attitude towards Russia, for example he agreed to Moscow’s condition that his country would pay for Russian gas in rubles. He also refuses to allow arms supplies from the West to flow to Ukraine through Hungarian territory.