China pressured Ukraine to ditch ‘sponsors of war’ list – Reuters — RT World News

China pressured Ukraine to ditch ‘sponsors of war’ list – Reuters — RT World News

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Kiev’s name-and-shame campaign aims to force foreign businesses to cut ties with Moscow

Ukraine could do away with its list of ‘international sponsors of war’ this week following pressure to end the name-and-shame campaign by China, Reuters has claimed, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Other countries may also have forced Ukraine’s hand on the issue, the media outlet said.

The blacklist was launched in 2022 and is published on the website of Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention. It features the names of foreign businesses believed to be “indirectly assist[ing] in or contribut[ing] to Russia’s war efforts.”

In practice, any company that pays taxes in Russia can be blacklisted. While inclusion on the list has no legal repercussions, it is intended to damage corporate reputations and pressure companies to cut ties with Russia.

Household names like PepsiCo, P&G, Yves Rocher, Unilever, Metro, Nestle, Auchan, and Xiaomi currently feature on the blacklist. A total of 14 entities in the database are from China – the highest number from a single country.

In its article on Thursday, Reuters quoted one unnamed source saying that “it’s China, but not only China.” They added that France had also exerted pressure on the leadership in Kiev over the inclusion of retailer Auchan and home improvement and gardening retailer Leroy Merlin on the blacklist.

According to the media outlet, Austria and Hungary may also have had a role. The article quoted another unnamed individual saying that there is general dissatisfaction with the fact that entities from countries that support Ukraine were still on the list.

On Tuesday, the Ukrainian government announced that those wishing to access the list would be redirected to the more neutrally named State Register of Sanctions curated by Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council. The decision was made after a meeting with diplomats from more than ten countries, including the US, China, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, as well as representatives from the EU.

Officials in Kiev on Tuesday acknowledged that many of Ukraine’s partners had raised concerns over the “lack of legal basis for the existence of the ‘international sponsors of war’ list.” They said Ukraine was forced to consider the “negative impact of this list on the adoption of important decisions to stop the Russian aggression.”

The country’s justice ministry agreed earlier this week that it was “unacceptable to disseminate such information in the state’s name without resolving the legal issues.”

In early February, Reuters reported that Beijing had demanded that Kiev remove all 14 Chinese companies from the database, warning that failure to do so “could have a negative impact on our relations.”