Hungary has asked the European Union to lift sanctions on three Russian entrepreneurs Petr Aven, Viktor Rashnikov, and Alisher Usmanov, reports Politico, citing four EU diplomats and officials.
Hungary has also demanded that the exception on sanctions for humanitarian aid be broadened, adds Politico. In exchange, according to Politico’s sources, the country will not block the renewal of the measures against sanctioned Russian individuals, something Hungary is capable of doing.
“Within the bloc, this extension was seen as a technical formality, as it has been with previous sanctions against Russia over Ukraine since 2014,” Politico reports.
Broadening the exception on sanctions for humanitarian aid could help Hungary create “loopholes” in anti-Russian sanctions, is the concern of Politico's interlocutors. Hungary’s demand to remove the Russian businessmen from the sanctions list has led to “outrage” among several EU countries, especially in light of the fact that Hungary had previously held up the EU ban on Russian oil, note Politico’s sources.
Hungary’s proposal will most likely be discussed during the EU envoys meeting on 7 September. UE has to renew their sanctions list before 15 September or it will lapse.
Ex-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Russia’s Alfa-Bank Petr Aven, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK) Viktor Rashnikov, and founder of USM Holdings Alisher Usmanov ended up on the EU sanctions list after the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.