International criticism – Schallenberg: Austria only militarily neutral


Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) has emphasized Austria’s position on military aid. The chief diplomat defined the domestic concept of neutrality: the republic is militarily neutral, but humanitarian. But international prophecies of doom are getting louder.

“We are a neutral country, it’s in our constitution,” Schallenberg said at a discussion meeting in Santander, Spain, on Monday. However, according to Schallenberg, Austria could facilitate arms deliveries to Ukraine through “constructive abstinence” in the context of EU military aid.

“We are funding more on the humanitarian side,” he added. “But to be clear: we may be militarily neutral, but Austria has never been neutral when it comes to values.” A “rules-based international order” is the best protection, the foreign minister tweeted in English.

Austria has been repeatedly accused on the international stage of helping to finance Vladimir Putin’s war. There is hardly any other country in the eurozone that is still so dependent on Russian gas. According to the latest data, 60 percent of total imports (as of June 2023) come from Russia. The British news magazine “The Economist” recently ranked Austria second on a list of “Putin’s useful idiots”.

According to the Financial Times, Austrian diplomats are increasingly being circumcised. Especially at meetings where information is exchanged. The reason: lax domestic espionage laws. After Putin’s attack on Ukraine, Vienna had once again become the spy capital of Europe.

Schallenberg: trust has been “destroyed”
When asked about a possible solution to the conflict, Schallenberg stressed that without Ukrainians there could be no peace talks on Ukraine. “Confidence has been 100 percent destroyed by Moscow,” he continued. But “any kind of stability” needs trust. According to the Austrian chief diplomat, “everyone must be brought on board”.

For Schallenberg, the question arises as to how confidence in Moscow can be restored. Because no matter what happens, “Russia is our closest neighbor geographically,” the foreign minister said, “We cannot cancel or ignore Russia.”

According to Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, there can be no peace without a victory for the Ukrainians. “And Russia can lose,” he said, referring to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in late 1988. The Baltic state’s foreign minister once again called for more military support for Ukraine.

“How many lives could have been saved?”
He criticized the hesitation of EU countries in this regard: training on F-16 fighter jets could have started long ago and asks the following question: “How many lives could have been saved?”

Source: Krone


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