Military Review

Disobedience of the "younger German brother"

Disobedience of the "younger German brother"

Austria opposed sanctions against Russia. This point of view is worth a lot - because we are talking about a very influential player, the second highest living standard in the EU. Given the difficult history Russian-Austrian relations, such news seems like a surprise. But if you turn to the economy - everything falls into place.

The country is small but important

The role of Austria in Europe is sometimes underestimated, but in vain. Since the time of the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary, the country has an excellent diplomatic staff. Today a lot of Austrians work in the apparatus of the structures of the European Union. Do not overlook the special relations of Austria and Germany. In the overwhelming majority of cases, the foreign policy of the two German-speaking countries follows along the same lines, and sometimes the Austrians voice something ahead of their German counterparts.

Having powerful banks, Austria occupies one of the leading places in the world in the export of capital - primarily to the former socialist countries of Europe. According to 2013 year, the country could boast the lowest unemployment rate in the European Union - 4,3%. The average salary in the country (admittedly, without deducting taxes) reaches Euro 2800. In terms of GDP per capita, Austria is second in the EU, second only to Luxembourg. So without the influence of Germany, the Austrians have enough.

Almost complete intra-Austrian unity

And now the federal chancellor of such a country, the head of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, Werner Faymann (in the photo) spoke out against the pressure on Russia from the EU. “We are convinced that negotiations with the participation of Russia are the right way. I have always said that they (sanctions) are just a small piece of the mosaic, and, moreover, very undesirable. The Austrians have always been in favor of political negotiations, and we will continue to insist on this in the future, ”he said the other day.

A similar opinion is shared by the representative of the conservative People's Party, the former chancellor and head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Wolfgang Schuessel. “Sanctions, be they economic, political sanctions, military actions are always evidence of weakness ... Russia and Europe have an effective network of interaction in the economy, politics and culture. It may not always be easy, but there is a network of interaction, ”he said during the forum in Valdai.

The behavior of Austrians in Ukraine is also different from most Europeans.
Unlike Angela Merkel, Faymann, as well as President Heinz Fischer (Social Democrat) and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurtz (Conservative) twice organized a peace conference in Ukraine in Vienna, where representatives of all interested parties were invited. And the same Faymann openly said that Ukraine should become a neutral "state-bridge, federal and democratic."

Thus, the two largest parties in the country are united in this issue. “Greens” and liberal supporters of toughening sanctions are in Austria in a clear minority. And the ultra-right Freedom Party, which consistently occupies the third place in parliamentary elections, even proposes to lift sanctions against Russia, criticizing the entire Western line of recent months.

“We must urgently lift the sanctions and return to diplomatic means. The methods of the Cold War are not applicable to solving the conflict in the 21st century, ”said the leader of the Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache.

Attention is drawn to the fact that the Austrian ultra-right have sent their observers both to the referendum in the Crimea and to the elections in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics.

Contrary to the story

Austria’s current behavior seems surprising in many ways. Suffice it to say that the Austrians usually draw the same line as the Germans. Angela Merkel does not tire of repeating that the time for the abolition of anti-Russian measures of influence has not yet come. Many in Germany, both left and right, representatives of business, do not agree with this. And here is a rare case when the "younger German brother" so frankly disobeyed the "older".

History also speaks against the current statements of Austrian politicians. It is enough to recall the very strained relations between the Russian and Austrian empires in the XIX - early XX centuries. In modern Austria, nostalgia for the time of former greatness is quite palpable - just look at the fact that the central streets of its cities are named after the Hapsburgs, and their monuments also stand in the most prominent places. In two world wars, Russians and Austrians fired at each other.

Ukraine for Austria is not a foreign country. Even 100 years ago, Lviv was officially called Lemberg. The empire consisted of Galicia, Bukovina, Transcarpathia. The Austrians have done a lot to turn the Rusins ​​into Ukrainians, rejecting Russia. The interests of the two states in the Balkans traditionally contradict each other. Austria has always supported the Croats, one of the first recognized the independence of Kosovo. Who is closer to Russia here - no need to repeat once again.

But history - history, disagreements - disagreements, but still the long-term Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kraisky laid in the 1960-s. basics of a peace-loving neutral country policy. Over the past decades, the Austrians have been quite cautious, avoiding sudden movements. And they should know how different parts of Ukraine are not similar to each other, and that Russia is not to blame for the horror that is happening in the Donbas.

There is a purely political moment. Austria sees in the European Union something that allows it to unite the lands that once belonged to it. Vienna is doing a lot for the EU to become a more or less independent center of power.

It cannot be said that the Austrian foreign policy was completely oriented towards the United States - for example, Austria did not gain access to Iraq in 2003. To bend under someone the country was not very accustomed, and to show independence for her is extremely important.

Money is more important than hurt feelings and disagreements.

However, the main reasons for the current behavior of Austria lie primarily in the economic plane. During the times of socialism, the Austrians managed to establish good cooperation with the USSR. And when socialism fell, Austrian companies gladly came to the Russian market. Construction sites with the Strabag logo and branches of Raiffeisen Bank have become commonplace in Russian cities. But there is cooperation in other areas.

A separate question is energy. Back at the end of the 1970's. Austria refused to launch nuclear power plants. It turned out that the country is simply not enough electricity and fuel. As a result, Austrians are forced to buy very large volumes of gas in Russia. He goes to them across the territory of Ukraine, for whose stability one cannot count. “South Stream” is simply necessary for the country, and Austria in a nightmare sees the suspension of the project imposed by the EU at the request of the United States.

Austria took an active part in the construction of Olympic and other related facilities in Sochi, its companies were able to earn decent money during the crisis. We have the World Cup ahead, and here the Austrians can share their experience. They have a football championship (although in Europe) took place in 2008 year. Again - a great opportunity for investment and subsequent profits. Yes, and we work with the Austrians here will only benefit.

It is impossible not to recall that in the Austrian banks are deposits of wealthy (and with average incomes, too) citizens of Russia. They acquire real estate in Vienna and Tyrol. Russian tourists spend money very generously on the ski resorts of the same Tyrol, Carinthia or Salzburg. These funds go to the Austrian treasury, providing a country of comfortable existence. So politics is politics, and you need to think about money. Here the authorities of Austria and think.

Of course, not the fact that the Austrians will be able to convince the same Merkel about sanctions. But to block this or that decision is completely in their power, and you should not underestimate the role of Austria.
Of course, the country's position can not be called pro-Russian, but at least it is not anti-Russian. With the current state of affairs in Europe and so expensive.

Subscribe to our Telegram channel, regularly additional information about the special operation in Ukraine, a large amount of information, videos, something that does not fall on the site:

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. herruvim
    herruvim 11 November 2014 18: 38
    Advisers to Obama:
    - It is necessary to introduce harsh sanctions against Russia: stop military cooperation, introduce a trade embargo, close the border between Russia and Ukraine!
    - So you say that if we stop supplying our group in Afghanistan, leave our aviation industry without titanium, scare away investors from our banks, freeze our allies in Europe, leave France without money for what’s not needed a Russian helicopter carrier and lose three million earnings Ukrainians, then this is very scare Russia?
    1. Giant thought
      Giant thought 11 November 2014 18: 48
      The Austrian leadership cares primarily about the well-being of their country, and not as much as Merkel about the well-being of America.
      1. SPLV
        SPLV 11 November 2014 23: 06
        Quote: Thought Giant
        The Austrian leadership cares primarily about the well-being of their country, and not as much as Merkel about the well-being of America.

        Yes, yes, it was. But I don’t remember if the plane of one Latin American president flying from Moscow was searched in Vienna when our sworn partners were looking for Snowden? And, precisely, it was another Austria and another Vienna, sorry, as always, the memory failed. And there was no Evo Morales.
      2. bekjan
        bekjan 12 November 2014 00: 10
        Maybe there really is a "chancellor pact" ???
    2. The comment was deleted.
    3. Vladimirets
      Vladimirets 11 November 2014 18: 52
      Quote: herruvim
      leave our aviation industry without titanium

      Do not forget the palladium. wink
    4. Rumata
      Rumata 11 November 2014 19: 19
      That everything will be fine)
    5. Denis fj
      Denis fj 11 November 2014 20: 07
      In Europe, of course, there are sane politicians, but such, unfortunately, are in the minority. Time will tell whether Austria and Hungary will be able to turn the tide on lifting the sanctions and building South Stream. But so far everything looks pessimistic. Europe is driving itself into a corner. We are not the only ones who have worsened in the financial sector. Euro money also collapsed against the dollar. Russians stop buying German cars, household appliances, and less often vacationing in European countries (this year the flow of tourists has decreased by more than 30%) because of the food embargo, agricultural producers suffer significant losses, etc. And Orban is great! But will it hold out? Too much a predator willing to swallow it, toothy.
      1. bekjan
        bekjan 12 November 2014 00: 13
        "If you put the rams at the head of the lions, then the lions ram, but on the contrary, even the ram will have a lion's heart." - Napoleon meant about Obama and the American army about this.
      2. Klepa
        Klepa 12 November 2014 01: 29
        Plus to the author of the article for a good presentation of information, nevertheless I allow myself to make a remark.
        Yes, Austria needs Russian gas, but much less than the same Germany. Most of Austria is mountains, so the country uses wind farms.
        My friend served in the Austrian Armed Forces. So, she argued that the Austrians did not put a penny on the NATO army. They say that only the French have an army, and then only for parades. The Austrians themselves (military pilots, not the elite) tried to intervene in the conflict in Ukraine to disperse the Nazis. Of course, she did not serve as a general, but only as a military psychologist, nevertheless she was able to convey the mood of the soldiers.
        Draw your own conclusions.
        1. Lyton
          Lyton 12 November 2014 03: 44
          If so, then this is simply amazing.
    6. Lukich
      Lukich 11 November 2014 21: 35
      Quote: herruvim
      Advisers to Obama:

      I think it was the other way around. Well, the Abama cannot think so correctly.
  2. Magic archer
    Magic archer 11 November 2014 18: 40
    To all such politicians after the lifting of sanctions, ORDEN! good
    1. Dmitry_24rus
      Dmitry_24rus 11 November 2014 18: 46
      Nothing personal, business wants to trade ..
    2. Zoldat_A
      Zoldat_A 11 November 2014 20: 49
      Quote: Magic Archer
      To all such politicians after the lifting of sanctions, ORDEN!

      For services to the Fatherland. Ours. If America has a similar award - Merkelikhe American! For merits to their homeland. hi
  3. igor1981
    igor1981 11 November 2014 18: 40
    Sometimes the voice of reason sounds in Europe.
    1. zzz
      zzz 11 November 2014 19: 30
      Quote: igor1981
      Sometimes the voice of reason sounds in Europe.

      This is the voice of a man who, apparently, does not have any dirt on the United States, unlike Merkel.
  4. Stinger
    Stinger 11 November 2014 18: 43
    The closer the cold, the more doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions. This is right. Santa Claus does not like to joke. Not that Santa Claus.
  5. shinobi
    shinobi 11 November 2014 18: 47
    There is a wonderful anime "hero with a sworn enemy" where literally on the fingers, very lucidly talks about how the economy affects palitiku. Names and countries are not directly named, but the hints are so transparent that only a blinkered fanatic liberal will not understand. I recommend.
  6. ALABAY45
    ALABAY45 11 November 2014 18: 47
    The Austrians are doing everything right! What does "the younger brother of the Germans" mean ?! Russia also has, allegedly, a "younger brother" ... That, neither the Austrians, nor us, such "relatives" would not have bothered with! Who, in general, determines the degree of European kinship ?!
  7. Vityok
    Vityok 11 November 2014 18: 47
    "the younger German brother" so openly disobeyed the "elder" Everyone lives by their own mind.
  8. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 11 November 2014 18: 51
    The role of Austria in Europe is sometimes underestimated, but in vain.

    Yes, yes, yes ... I remember, in the history of Europe and the world, one corporal came from Austria.
    1. Andrey Yuryevich
      Andrey Yuryevich 11 November 2014 19: 05
      Quote: Alexey RA
      The role of Austria in Europe is sometimes underestimated, but in vain.

      Yes, yes, yes ... I remember, in the history of Europe and the world, one corporal came from Austria.

      and surname interesting-shiklgruber ...
      1. gunter_laux
        gunter_laux 11 November 2014 19: 22
        Yes, do not scuffle. This is an article on a modern understanding of Austrian politics. And that is a plus.
    2. ALABAY45
      ALABAY45 11 November 2014 20: 14
      Well, yes, for all its shortcomings, the whole world "built", not for long, but nevertheless ... The tandem "Stalin - Hitler" is still on everyone's lips, in historical works and research. The role of personalities in history, you know whether ... No matter how you and I would treat them ...
  9. Funnels
    Funnels 11 November 2014 19: 06
    It is gratifying that there are sensible people in Europe, and with the onset of winter, there are more and more of them. And also note that almost ALL former leaders of Europe and America are against sanctions and dialogue with Russia. Is that insight?
    1. bekjan
      bekjan 12 November 2014 00: 19
      The killer combination of hunger and cold knocks out all the brown plague as under Stalingrad.
  10. 16112014nk
    16112014nk 11 November 2014 19: 18
    The USA has a lot of dirt on "Mackerel". In his youth, a member of the SED, a Stasi agent, an active member of the nudist club. Therefore, it goes for the United States.
  11. viruvalge412ee
    viruvalge412ee 11 November 2014 19: 18
    Tell me how the Austrians differ from Ukrainians or Poles!? Answer! The Poles, a courageous people, resisted both against the Germans and us too. What is this, Austrians! What is the French - they earned in the war, supplying the Wehrmacht with wine and frogs. What is the mattresses - these creatures earned everything and everyone on the supply of Hitler and money and prospects. For the USSR, what mattresses earned in World War II = ALL that we seem to still pay honestly. WE ARE FOOLS! No or yes!?
    Need to beat and finish!
    1. Homo
      Homo 11 November 2014 20: 36
      Quote: viruvalge412ee
      Tell me how the Austrians differ from Ukrainians or Poles!? Answer! The Poles, a courageous people, resisted against the Germans and us too.

      Are you talking about the Polish Army of Craiova and the Ukrainian UPA? Should we respect them for the killing of Russian soldiers?
    2. andj61
      andj61 11 November 2014 20: 41
      Quote: viruvalge412ee
      .What is such-Austrians-!.

      Actually, the Austrians speak German, and how they differ from the Germans is not very obvious to me personally. You can’t tell them apart from the Bavarian Germans. It is shown in the article that Austria, as a small Germany in politics, is very different from Germany, big - at least in relation to Russia. And in Germany itself, the moods are not so different - more and more people understand that sanctions against Russia can afford them, and the sanctions themselves are absolutely not fair.
    3. ALABAY45
      ALABAY45 11 November 2014 20: 46
      "Poles are a courageous people" ...
      Dolphins neighbors from the second floor and a life-size stuffed grinning mammoth on the bedside table ... Eka, you are "covered"! Everything, everything, everything ... Ours, ours ... dad is near ...!
    4. devastator
      devastator 11 November 2014 22: 57
      Quote: viruvalge412ee
      What is -austriki-!

      Ferdinand Habsburg, Franz Joseph, Adolf Hitler and Otto Skorzeny would not particularly agree with you.
      It is more likely that Germany, before the time of Bismarck, was wandering in the wake of Austria, and not vice versa.
      So do not talk about Austria in such a dismissive tone.
      Of course, they used to get luli from Turkey, and later they raided from Napoleon. But you must admit, it’s not shameful from Napoleon - even Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay de Tolly and Peter Ivanovich Bagration snickered from Napoleon to Moscow itself, but there were not so many tough guys like them in history.
    MIKHALYCH1 11 November 2014 19: 41
    Austria need to give Galicia ...
  13. Straight
    Straight 11 November 2014 19: 42
    Let the "German brother" join Russia and China, then it will take its rightful place in the world.
  14. Karabas
    Karabas 11 November 2014 19: 59
    Extremely pragmatic vision of the future, it is necessary to separate politics and business, and not bring everything together. Regarding seniority, it's still how to look .......
  15. Denis fj
    Denis fj 11 November 2014 20: 08
    Austria and Germany are two German states. No matter how the fascists were against the communists, but Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are three Russian states, and there were once two Russian states - Russia and Lithuania.
  16. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 11 November 2014 20: 13
    Ahead is winter and the Austrians first of all think how much gas they have paid to steal the Outskirts. Therefore, they clearly let the EU understand that their shirt is closer to their bodies. While in the center of Europe, remembering their greatness, they think about the future, I mean, participation in the possible (and discounting such an option in the not too distant future!) section of the Outskirts, where everyone will try to pick up their own, legitimate.
  17. Sergey Sitnikov
    Sergey Sitnikov 11 November 2014 20: 19
    Europeans about the benefits of relations with the Russian Federation (gas, trade): think for yourself, decide for yourself - to have or not to have! The key here is _ SAMI ... otherwise the mattresses will have you
  18. oxotnuk86
    oxotnuk86 11 November 2014 21: 03
    Finally, the current politicians began to speak. And then all the retirees were. They really look at things. Hungary, Austria there are still no frosts and Ukrainians do not steal gas but will steal. Ukrainians girlfriend can not.
  19. rotmistr60
    rotmistr60 12 November 2014 02: 29
    Austria opposed sanctions against Russia.

    No matter what arguments (economic, political) Austria relies on disagreeing with the sanctions. The main thing is that another EU country does not want to dance to the tune of the United States in an embrace with Germany. And Merkel herself has already started talking about the fact that the new sanctions will not concern the economic package.
  20. Slavyanin
    Slavyanin 12 November 2014 11: 21
    As for me, Frau Merkel is an agent of the CIA influence.
  21. deadj
    deadj 12 November 2014 13: 10
    We will soon play football with them.