Beautiful Virgin Islands


US sanctions Hungary-based bank with Russian ties

US sanctions Hungary-based bank with Russian ties

The unusual penalties against a NATO and EU ally mark a new low point in Budapest’s relationship with Washington.

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Hungary-based bank linked to Russia, marking a new low point in Hungary’s relationship with Washington.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced the penalties, which will target the International Investment Bank (IIB), a controversial institution located in Budapest with ties to the Russian state. The bank’s presence in Hungary has drawn the ire of Western officials, who fear it could be used for Russian intelligence operations inside Europe.

Speaking to reporters in Budapest on Wednesday afternoon, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman said Washington had repeatedly shared information with Hungarian counterparts about how Russia could use the bank to expand its influence — to no avail.

“Unlike other NATO allies previously engaged with this Russian entity,” the ambassador said, “Hungary has dismissed the concerns of the United States government regarding the risks its continued presence poses to the alliance.”

The IIB was originally created in 1970 to foster trade within the Soviet bloc and moved its headquarters from Moscow to Budapest in 2019 despite worries from Hungary’s allies.

“We have concerns,” Pressman said, “about the continued eagerness of Hungarian leaders to expand and deepen ties with the Russian Federation.”

In addition to the broader IIB sanctions, the U.S. will also penalize three individuals affiliated with the bank’s leadership — former board chair Nikolay Kosov, a Russian citizen, and two current senior management officials, Imre Laszlóczki, a Hungarian, and Georgy Potapov, a Russian.

While Hungary is a member of both NATO and the EU, U.S. officials have expressed growing concern over the past decade about Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s moves to centralize power at home and build closer ties abroad with Moscow and Beijing.

But the relationship has deteriorated significantly since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Figures close to Orbán have promoted Russian-style anti-American narratives at home, prompting outrage among Western partners.

Unlike most of its NATO allies, Budapest has maintained a relationship with the Kremlin, with Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó even traveling to Moscow for talks earlier this week on gas shipments, oil transit fees and an ongoing nuclear power plant project. An ongoing campaign in Hungary’s government-controlled press targeting Pressman, the U.S. ambassador, has further strained relations.

And Hungary, together with Turkey, is still blocking Sweden’s NATO bid — a decision that has irritated and confused many allies.

Sweden's parliament voted in favor of joining NATO despite delays by Hungary and Turkey to ratify its membership bid


Pressman insisted the U.S. did not want its ties with Hungary to rupture.

"We're invested in this relationship, because we care about Hungary," he said.

Yet with IIB, the U.S. government said Hungary is essentially allowing Russia to extend its arm into Europe.

“The IIB’s presence in Budapest enables Russia to increase its intelligence presence in Europe, opens the door for the Kremlin’s malign influence activities in Central Europe and the Western Balkans, and could serve as a mechanism for corruption and illicit finance, including sanctions violations,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Even after Moscow launched its war in Ukraine, the department added, IIB executives “have coordinated with Russian Federation officials on IIB business."

This is not the first time the U.S. has sanctioned figures linked to Orbán, as allegations of widespread, high-level corruption in Hungary have long worried Washington. In 2014, America banned several Hungarian citizens from entering the U.S., including the then-head of the country’s tax authority.

Washington has also previously sanctioned individuals in Bulgaria, another NATO ally and EU member. In 2021, the U.S. targeted a slew of high-profile Bulgarian power brokers and entities under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which targets perpetrators of corruption and human rights abuses around the globe.

The U.S. then followed up with further sanctions against Bulgarian elites earlier this year.

Comments

Oh ya 1 year ago
And this is why the world is dumping the USA and the world reserve currency. The US has turned the dollar into a weapon against countries that make them mad

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
0:00
0:00
Close
Macron Halts New Caledonia Voting Reform After Riots
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Rishi Sunak Shelves Rwanda and Smoking Policies Ahead of Election
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US Refuses World Court Jurisdiction
BVI Freedom Song
China Conducts Surprise Military Drills Around Taiwan
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Grim Polls Predict Major Loss for PM Rishi Sunak
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Rishi Sunak's Campaign for UK Election: Key Issues Highlighted
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
German Property Crisis Worsens as Foreign Investment Declines
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Princess of Wales's Taskforce Calls for Business Investment in Early Childhood
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Campaign Groups Condemn UK Report on Protests
Hello Dolly
Former Royal Marine Charged with Espionage Found Dead
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Australian PM Calls for Julian Assange's Freedom
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
ICC Seeks Arrest Warrants for Israeli and Hamas Leaders
Yes He Can
UK's Infected Blood Scandal: Conclusion Nears After Seven Years
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
Julian Assange Granted Right to Challenge US Extradition
Unforgettable
Congo Army Thwarts Attempted Coup Involving Americans and a British Citizen
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Ireland's Homeless Gain Voting Rights
The Lord's Prayer
Blinken orders crackdown on Israel-Hamas leaks
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Julian Assange Faces US Extradition: Key Facts
Siyahamba
Jacob Zuma Takes Campaign to ANC Stronghold Soweto
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
Attempted Assassination of Slovakia PM Robert Fico: Investigation Ongoing
Ramblin' Rose
What Happens If an Iranian President Dies in Office?
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
Spain Recalls Ambassador After Argentina President's Remarks
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Rishi Sunak Faces Cabinet Backlash Over Proposed Changes to Foreign Student Visas
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Rwanda Denies Entry to Human Rights Researcher
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi Reportedly Killed in Helicopter Crash
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
Blue Origin Resumes Space Tourism with 90-Year-Old Ed Dwight
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Rishi Sunak and Wife Akshata Murty Wealthier Than King Charles
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
New Dutch Government Drives Wedge Through EU Liberals
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
Iranian President Raisi Missing After Helicopter Goes Down
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
Freemasons and ‘Global War Party’ Accused of Conspiring Against Georgia
Common, John Legend - Glory
Poland Supports Rolls-Royce's Nuclear Power Plant Initiative
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
European Ports Overflow with Unsold Electric Vehicles
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Esprit Files for Bankruptcy in Europe, Putting Hundreds of Jobs at Risk
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Chevron Halts North Sea Drilling Amid Rising Tax Burden
BVI Freedom Song
Jeremy Hunt Accused of Exaggerating Conservatives' Economic Record
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Victoria Atkins Discusses Historical Gender Bias in the NHS
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 50th Anniversary: Calls for Justice
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty’s Wealth Rises to £651 Million
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
New Caledonia Riots Escalate After French Voting Rights Change
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
Renters Face Fierce Competition as Listing Times Shrink
Hello Dolly
Surge in Fake Science: 19 journals shut down due to fraudulent papers from 'paper mills'
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
Global Birthrates Decline, Raising Economic and Social Concerns
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
Boeing Faces Possible Prosecution Over 737 MAX Settlement Violation
Yes He Can
Prisoner Escapes in France as Two Officers Killed in Van Ambush
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
German Court Rules AfD Can Be Monitored for Extremism
Unforgettable
Jacob Rees-Mogg Criticizes Bank of England’s Inflation Strategy
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Promote Invictus Games in Nigeria
The Lord's Prayer
UK Arms Ban on Israel Would Aid Hamas, Says Cameron
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
US Regulators Probe Credit Card Reward Schemes
Siyahamba
Labour Vows to End Rwanda Deportation Scheme/Scam
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
×