The EU adopted a new package of sanctions against Russia, which includes blacklisting businesspeople close to the Kremlin, among them Moshe Kantor and German Gref, Euronews news agency reported Monday.
Hungary and Austria had relatively cordial relations with Russia before Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine, and their concern over blacklisting Kantor and Gref highlights the EU’s difficulty in presenting a united front against Russia.
The Hungarian representative expressed surprise at the blacklisting of Kantor, whom he described as a highly decorated man who received awards from several EU states, including Austria, Italy and France.
Kantor, a major shareholder in the Russian fertilizer company Akron, is also a philanthropist who had headed the European Jewish Congress.
For his part, the Austrian envoy asked for more information on why Kantor had been included in the list, sources said.
Blacklisted businessmen face asset freezes and travel bans in the EU, but not all countries in the bloc have reported law-abiding measures.