Mitterlehner calls for support for Russian sanctions

Mitterlehner calls for support for Russian sanctions
Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner. Photo: APA (Nationalrat)
Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner (People's Party/ÖVP) says that the European Union aims to show "political leadership" by imposing economic sanctions on Russia.

It was "important that Austria joined in", he told national broadcaster ORF in a radio show on Saturday.

It was crucial to signal that Europe would act as a bloc, Mitterlehner said. The only alternative to that would be a military invention and that "was out of question", he added. Austria's economy was closely linked with the Russian one, but at the current time "political priority decides".

Nevertheless he said that he was worried about not having an alternative to Russian gas. However, Russia as well as Austria was dependent on that, he said. Besides that there were long-term contracts and the expectation of falling prices on the world market. "On the whole I believe that we will cope with the sanctions."

Asked about the political situation in Austria he said that he was aware that the people in Austria wanted results from the ruling coalition. This "in the interest of both parties", he added. The government coalition would "of course" work together for the whole legislature. He suggested talking about political issues at first within the coalition before they were made public.

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