The Hungarian government has decided to recall its delegates from the Russian-controlled International Investment Bank (IIB) following US sanctions imposed on Wednesday (April 12), the Economic Development Ministry confirmed on Thursday.
The Hungarian government discussed the situation and decided that, although the International Bank had played an important role in the development of Central and Eastern Europe in the past, the sanctions imposed by the United States had rendered its operation useless. . This was announced by the ministry in a statement, reports EURACTIV partner Telex .
The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the International Investment Bank, a Russian-controlled institution based in Budapest.
The presence of any “Kremlin-led” entity in Europe is a “potential threat” to the EU and its Western allies, US Ambassador to Hungary David Pressman said, adding that the bank was “the tool of Moscow” to increase its influence in Hungary and the region.
Relations between Hungary and the United States have deteriorated for several months, with the Hungarian media having repeatedly reported “spikes” between Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó and the American ambassador in the country.
Hungary is the latest EU member state to leave the Russian group, although earlier this year its stake in the bank rose to more than 25%.