US and EU authorities claim that Russia has been isolated and deprived of all allies. Nevertheless, we know that representatives of many European countries stand in favor of dialogue and resumption of normal relations and cooperation. In Austria, many politicians and political scientists oppose sanctions against Russia and call for the need for a reasonable and balanced approach in building relations with Russia. Pravda.Ru asked expert opinion from Professor at the Institute of East and South-Eastern Europe in Vienna, Peter Bachmeier.
"I can not say that Russia is in isolation. Austria is against such a policy. The Austrian government does not support sanctions against Russia. In June, Austrian President Fischer invited Russian President Putin to Vienna, and he delivered a speech to the Chamber of Commerce. Of course, he spoke with the Chancellor and other leaders of the country. The Austrian people are generally very positive towards Russia. Austria is a neutral country, it is not a member of NATO, and the majority of people reject NATO and NATO policy," Peter Bachmeier told Pravda.Ru.
The professor told Pravda.Ru that Austrians support the policy of Russia. "They especially support Russia's position on the conflict in Ukraine," he said. "One should also distinguish the position of authorities in different countries around the world. In many countries, authorities carry out a very strong anti-Russian propaganda in the media, but this does not affect opinions of the people. There is a gap between the media and the people, including the part of intellectuals and the political class," said the expert.
The problem, he says, is about the European Union and the European Commission that support the sanctions. These organizations remain are under the influence of the United States.
"The Austrian government, unfortunately, takes a very careful stand. But on the other hand, our government takes steps in favor of the Russian position. Because our economy, the Chamber of Commerce, our business, the business community is against the sanctions. They have very close relationships with Russia," Peter Bachmeier said in an interview with Pravda.Ru.