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Selfie with Putin is not the friendship with Russia

Селфи с Путиным — это еще не дружба с Россией

Vienna hopes to establish an active dialogue with Moscow, thanks to which the relationship between the EU and Russia will improve. About this at the final press conference after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz.

“As a superpower, Russia is not only playing a big role in hot spots, in Syria, in the East of Ukraine and in the other, but it carries significant responsibility,” he said. “And we hope and expect that Russia will contribute to that the people there could live as they would like, namely in the world.”

In addition, according to him, Austria is counting on progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements and a gradual lifting of sanctions against Moscow.

“We particularly hope that there is progress [in the settlement of the situation] in the East of Ukraine to here, respectively, with the gradual implementation of the Minsk agreements step by step to lift the sanctions. This is the scenario we want for our continent”, — he stressed.

“We are firmly convinced that our continent can only develop together with each other, but not against each other,” said Kurtz, adding that the dialogue will benefit both sides.

The Chancellor said that Austria, in spite of this, keep the course on the preservation of restrictive measures against Moscow: “From 1 July we will preside over the EU and to actively participate in the EU’s position, will support the EU’s decision, of course, and sanctions.”

Earlier, Kurtz advocated the removal from Russia of restrictive measures. In 2016 year, as Minister of foreign Affairs, he declared that for the EU it is time to find common ground with Russia, and urged the EU to move towards the phased lifting of sanctions.

Against this background it is worth Recalling that a much more constructive position on this issue is the new government of Italy. The Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, speaking on June 5 in the upper house of Parliament, said that his Cabinet intends to advocate for the revision of the system of sanctions against Russia.

— Austria was never a friend of Russia, and I doubt that such it in the coming decades will be — emphasizes senior lecturer of the Department of regional studies and foreign policy of the Russian state humanitarian University, Vadim Trukhachev.

— Just in the background of a sharp aggravation of relations with other European countries the fact that the Austrian managers are constantly in Moscow and invite Vladimir Putin to Vienna, it seems friendship…

The question of sanctions Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has repeatedly raised, but apparently, he understands enough to support their abolition today he is not. Austria wants to relax the restrictive measures, but to sharpen with any relationship for the sake of Russia will not be accurate. In this case, Germany and even Poland is more important to her than we are.

“SP”: — Kurtz said waiting for progress on the Ukrainian issue, in particular the situation in the South-East of the country. That is, he expects that Moscow recognizes its part in the war and withdraw its troops or what?

— Kurtz repeated the standard language characteristic of the European politicians… there are the opinion that the Russian-speaking world is arranged “vertically”, and all decisions are made in the Kremlin. There the bulk of its truly do not believe that the people of Donbass may prefer Union with Russia, Association with the European Union… Yes, Europe wants Russia to quit Ukraine as well as went from the Baltic States and of Georgia. At the same time, there is an understanding that Ukraine is not Georgia, Latvia, and Russia completely will not go away. Because there are doing everything to Russia’s influence on Ukraine has weakened to the greatest extent possible.

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“SP”: — however, Kurtz called Russia a “superpower,” and expressed the hope that it brings a contribution to peace in Syria and Ukraine. But Russia cannot do it alone, without the West, including, without Europe. Kurtz does not understand this?

— Austria is the country out of which very many members of the European Commission and other European institutions. To some extent, the Austrians are always trying to speak on behalf of the EU — including in Syria. Yes, Austria and all of Europe wants us refused to support Assad, and even withdrew from the Middle East. And the Austrians want to think about it, in 2015, mass is not necessary refugees. But the departure of Assad may cause a new wave of migrants… But there’s dogma: democracy is better than dictatorship, and to retreat from it, the Europeans (including the Austrians) don’t want to.

“SP”: — Why Italy is not afraid to speak out against the sanctions, and Austria not?

— So far, not only Austria, but Italy extended the sanctions, though opposed to them. Italy is a country where more than Austria, but Austria is significantly richer. Therefore, from the perspective of interesting they’re both… If we take the attitude to Russia — among Austrians it is generally worse than among the Italians. We are considered guilty in the collapse of the Austrian Empire, and the complex of the Austrian elite still alive. They are willing to build with us pragmatic relations, but the complex from this will not go away… But compared to other European countries and the approach of Austria seem quite friendly. The same Netherlands or Sweden tuned to us much more critical.

“SP”: — Can you trust Austria against the background of these statements? As far as all the talk about readiness to lift the sanctions are a measure of the prospects of partnership with a particular country?

— Austria, as a country from which, once again, left a significant part of the staff of pan-European organizations is a good EU President. Because she will try to conduct a balanced line, not to push any cost their interests. At the level of the offices of the Austrian politicians will try to do everything to restrictive measures against Russia to weaken. They are already doing. However, not everything here depends on them. It can be assumed that the sanctions continue until. May be, the case soon comes to removing one of the three packages, but this scenario seems optimistic. Most of the EU countries to lift the restrictions is not ready, and to do with it Austria together with Italy.

It’s very simple: the Chancellor lives on the Putin principle of “flies — separately, cutlets — separately”, — said the Professor of the Moscow state University. M. V. Lomonosov, doctor of political Sciences, member of the Scientific Council under the security Council of the Russian Federation Andrey manoylo.

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— Selfie with Putin in instagram is one thing, but straining for the lifting of Russia sanctions — is quite another. Pure pragmatism, nothing personal. And who said that Kurtz wants to be our friend? Ask him this question — and, I bet his answer will surprise you.

Over the last couple of years, we’re always looking for new friends. That we’re friendly then with Tsipras, the Prime Minister little Greece: the Union with this country was presented as the new Entente. Of course, “Greece has everything”, this country will enable us to break out of isolation. But “love” did not last long: Tsipras famously on this cut several interest-free loans and vanished from the Russian politics as a gambler of long-distance trains. Who now recalls the strategic Alliance with Greece? Now the same scenario played out with Austria and her young Chancellor. And then there are the Central African Republic with the new President, and with which we also are developing rapid “novel”. However, even the fact that the previous President SAM was a man-eater, teaches us nothing. We would have less to fall in love, and so loans not enough at all.

“SP”: — What Kurtz means by “progress” on the Ukrainian issue? Russia will hand over their positions?

— Kurtz clearly gives to understand that his political position will always be on the side of the majority. He will join any decision on Ukraine, if this decision will make Germany, France, etc. In this regard, he, like a weather vane to catch the wind. We shouldn’t expect him nonconformism.

“SP”: — however, Kurtz calls Russia a “superpower” without which not solved any global problems. It is such flattery?

Is no more than common words. A courtesy and fees for a selfie with Putin, the great and terrible. “Up! And tigers at my feet sat…”

By the way, in this respect, it behaves about as well as macron: Russia is a superpower, but as soon as the question of sanctions — no, we’re not ready for it to go, I can’t — “the time has not come yet”.

“SP”: — on the same day the new Prime Minister of Italy stated that his government would oppose sanctions. Italy more consistent?

Yeah, Italy is more consistent — she made a point about sanctions in their own political agenda and now you will consistently achieve their mitigation or cancellation.

“SP”: — Can you trust Austria against the background of these statements? As far as all the talk about readiness to lift the sanctions are a measure of the prospects of partnership with a particular country?

— Sanctions and any talk about their wonderful withdrawal — the theme is purely speculative. And as soon as any newly elected politician starts talking about lifting sanctions against Russia — wait a trick. Promise — not to marry, and we believe any promises indiscriminately. Forgetting one iron rule: in friends, as well as in Finance you have to be picky. Austria us — a friend, but let’s build a relationship with her not on love, but on the dry rules of bilateral treaties and agreements. That is — without fanaticism.

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