Austria has blocked a new package of EU sanctions against Russia


Austria has blocked the European Union’s 12th package of sanctions against Russia. Vienna is seeking the removal of Raiffeisen Bank International from the Ukrainian blacklist of “war sponsors” in exchange for signing new sanctions, Reuters reported citing sources. The agency notes that this gesture confirms Austria’s refusal to withdraw Raiffeisen Banking Group’s business from Russia. Earlier, Hungary had already secured Ukraine’s removal of the Hungarian bank OTP from the blacklist.

Reuters notes that Raiffeisen is the only Austrian company on the list of “war sponsors”. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Raiffeisenbank remained one of the few credit organizations in Russia to conduct SWIFT transfers. According to Reuters, representatives of the bank met with Ukraine’s National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, which is adding to the blacklist. “We think it is unfair that we are on this list”, a bank representative told the agency.

The EU intends to introduce a 12th package of sanctions against Russia during December. It includes, among other things, a ban on the supply of machine tools that can be used to produce weapons. The EU also wants to ban imports of liquid propane, pig iron, copper and aluminum wire, foil, tubes and pipes.

The key point of the package remains an embargo on Russian diamonds from January 1, 2024. The EU also plans to gradually ban imports of Russian diamonds processed in third countries.

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