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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

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Exclusive: Austria stalls Russian sanctions over Raiffeisen blacklisting – sources

The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2023. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Ma... The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2023. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2023. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Ma... The logo of Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is seen on their headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 14, 2023. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

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According to two individuals who are acquainted with the issue, Austria is attempting to get Raiffeisen Bank International, which is the most prominent Western bank in Russia, removed from a blocklist of Ukrainian financial institutions in exchange for the approval of an additional set of sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia.

The Ukrainian government wants to remove Austria and the bank from a list of “international sponsors of war.” This list is intended to bring disgrace to businesses that are conducting business in Russia and supporting the war effort by, for example, paying taxes.

The most recent attempt highlights Austria’s profound economic link with Russia, the bank’s resolve to preserve its profitable business there, and a waning Western campaign to isolate Moscow. All of these factors make the new push particularly noteworthy.

An individual briefing on the negotiations in Kyiv stated that Alexander Schallenberg, the foreign minister of Austria, publicly criticized the blocklist as being arbitrary during a conference of European ministers earlier in October.

There is only one Austrian firm on the list, Raiffeisen. Three individuals familiar with the situation have stated that Austrian authorities have expressed their worry over the list to European officials in Brussels. These concerns have been voiced at meetings between EU officials and diplomats that have taken place in recent weeks.

According to individuals aware of the case, bank envoys went to meet with members of Ukraine’s National Agency of Corruption Prevention, which is responsible for compiling the list, to explore ways to remove the group from the list. According to a spokesman for the Austrian Chancellery, legal documents about the EU penalties were provided on Tuesday. However, the spokesperson declined to comment further on the presented matter.

Several businesses, notably Hungary’s OTP Bank, have been removed from the list, which is a move that has irritated both the Austrian government and the bank itself. A spokeswoman for the bank stated, “We find it unfair that we are on the list,” according to the statement.


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