Austria too slow to give up Russian gas - Green Party spokeswoman

Austria too slow to give up Russian gas - Green Party spokeswoman

Austria is too slow to refuse from Russian gas and contributes to Russian military budget by paying for gas.

Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, a Member of Parliament for the Austrian Greens, stated this in an interview with Ukrinform.

Politically, Austria wants to give it up. But from a legal point of view, it's not so easy because OMV is not only a state-owned company but also a private one. There are contracts. Austria cannot tell private companies in Austria to get out of there right now. Instead, the country must become more independent step by step, the MP commented on the question of whether Austria intends to completely abandon Russian gas.

According to her, this refusal from natural gas from Russia is happening too slowly.

Read also: Shell continues to sell Russian gas after announcing trade suspension - BBC

Ernst-Dziedzic said that it is terrible that Austria is paying into the Russian military treasury with these contracts. She finds unacceptable that Russia has made countries like Austria dependent on it through this "soft power". It is difficult for these countries to get out of this situation now because they also need to warm up. This is happening too slowly. It is very unfortunate. They are in such a difficult position there, she added.

In her opinion, the continuation of the Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International's operations in Russia harms Austria's image and is morally unjustified.

Indeed, it does damage the Austrian image. But not only that. It is also morally unjustified. You can't just continue to do business as if nothing has happened, she commented on RBI's work in Russia.

Read also: Moldova announces complete rejection of Russian gas

The MP added that sanctions against Russia are working and have an effect. In her opinion, restrictions should be imposed on oligarchs and businesspeople from Putin's entourage.

She said that if one wants to force Russia to stop its war, one needs to put pressure on the people who support Putin. These are rich people, oligarchs, and businesspeople. If their accounts are frozen, if they have no income, then they will also oppose Russia’s war. If they benefit from the war, they will continue to support Putin, Ernst-Dziedzic said.

As Ukrinform reported, OMV CEO Alfred Stern said in July that the Austrian energy group OMV would continue to buy most of its gas from Russia through a contract signed with Gazprom until 2040.

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