"We are convinced that negotiations with the participation of Russia are the right way," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said Tuesday, Nov. 4.
However, Austria shares the decision of the European Union not to recognize the elections in the east of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the authorities of the Republic of Austria has doubts that sanctions were useful for resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
"I've always been saying that they are at best small pieces of a puzzle and are not very desirable. We, the Austrians, have always treated them differently: we gave higher priority to negotiations and political agreements. We will continue to act the same way in the future," Faymann said.
As the newspaper writes, the Austrian soft attitude is probably caused by the high dependence of many Austrian companies from Russia and Eastern Europe. In particular, Raiffeisen Bank gets a significant portion of its profits in Russia. The energy concern OMV works with Russian Gazprom on the planned construction of the South Stream gas pipeline.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened Russia with new sanctions after the controversial "elections" in Eastern Ukraine.