China and France Pressure Ukraine to Rethink 'War Sponsors' List

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.22 - 2024 9:59 AM CET

Photo: Oleksandr Osipov /
Photo: Oleksandr Osipov /
Ukraine has come under international diplomatic efforts.

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Ukraine is poised to reconsider its stance on the controversial list that names companies and individuals continuing their business endeavors with Russia, following diplomatic pressures, revealed sources to Reuters. This list, dubbed as "international war sponsors," could see a dramatic shift in its future due to the interventions of multiple countries.

Two insiders privy to these developments have pointed out that Kyiv's change of heart comes under the significant influence of China and France, with additional pressures from Austria and Hungary. The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has been responsible for curating this list, which presently includes around 50 entities, predominantly featuring Chinese corporations such as CNPC, Sinopec Group, and Alibaba, among others.

French entities like Auchan, Leroy Merlin, Yves Rocher, and Bonduelle also find themselves on this list, alongside companies from the USA, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and other nations, including Bacardi, Nestle, Knauf, and Uniliver.

The upcoming discontinuation of the website associated with this blacklist on March 22, which offers detailed insights on individuals and entities under Western sanctions, marks a significant policy shift.

Despite the list's non-binding nature, its existence has reportedly caused discomfort among the large corporations it names, as per Reuters. This situation underscores the growing challenges Kyiv faces in securing international support.

On March 20, Ukrainian officials declared their intent to cease the maintenance of this list, highlighting the "numerous requests" from partnering nations concerned about the absence of a legal framework supporting such a list. This lack of a regulatory foundation has been seen as detrimental to making critical decisions in opposition to Russia, as stated by Ukraine's Foreign Ministry.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has criticized the dissemination of such information without legislative backing, emphasizing the necessity for a more formalized approach. This collective international and domestic scrutiny signals a potential end to the contentious list, reflecting the complexities of balancing national interests with international diplomatic relations.