Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said a decision by Ukraine to remove OTP from the International Sponsors of War list was "a step in the right direction", but called for guarantees that the bank will not be returned to the list.
Minister Szijjártó said he had invited representatives of Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) to discuss the matter. The removal of OTP from the list is a welcome move but it also showed that the NACP had essentially admitted that the bank had been put on the list for “unfounded, deceitful and laughable” reasons, he said. He said it was an unfounded claim that OTP was a decisive player in Russia’s banking system when the bank’s market share there was only 0.17%. The claim that OTP was operating in Donetsk was “laughable”, he added. At the same time, OTP may very well end up returning to the list, and this remains a cause for concern, he added. “That’s why we’ve asked the Ukrainian ambassador … to bring an NACP delegation to Budapest to negotiate an agreement,” he added. Szijjártó added that NACP also maintained a list of proposed sanctions and this still included OTP’s Russian unit and four Hungarian bankers. “We expect that the four OTP leaders and the Russian unit also be removed from the Ukrainian anti-corruption agency’s list,” he added.