November 09, 2016 18:35
Austria, Italy critical of maintaining sanctions against Russia - Ulyukayev
VIENNA. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Members of government and business circles in Austria and Italy are critical of maintaining sanctions against Russia, but decisions in the European Union (EU) are taken at a supranational level, Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told journalists following two-day discussions with businesses and ministers of Italy and Austria.
"I would say that our Austrian partners are extremely critical in relation to the sanctions regime and expressed their intention and willingness to withdraw from it," he said following his meeting with Austrian Vice Chancellor and Minister of Science, Research and Economy Reinhold Mitterlehner.
Commenting on a follow-up question on whether this means that Austria was against the possible expansion of sanctions, the minister said that "not only is it against expanding them, but as far as I understand, it is against the existing level of sanctions."
"The conclusion [on the results of the two-day meetings with Austria and Italy] is that both business and the government of those two countries are critical of the sanctions regime and are looking for ways out of it. But they are not completely independent in taking decisions, because the mechanism has been set up at a supranational level," Ulyukayev said. On Tuesday Ulyukayev held a working meeting with Italy's economic development minister Carlo Calenda in Rome.
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