As one of the biggest investors in our economy, Austria has strongly advocated the lifting of sanctions.
The opening of the Austrian Embassy took place on the eve of the discussion of the Belarusian issue in Brussels. On February 15, the European Union will take “a collective decision on Belarus, for which all EU countries will be responsible.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria Michael Linhart said in Minsk that Austria supports the lifting of sanctions from Belarus and said that he hopes that it will support the position of the Foreign Ministers of all the European countries. The sanctions have been temporarily suspended so far.
“We are on the side of Belarus. I hope that the movement will be precisely in this direction. Recently, Belarus sent a lot of positive signals concerning human rights. In this direction, dialogue with the European Union continues,” said Michael Linhart.
He diplomatically praised the recent presidential elections: “Progress has been achieved.” About the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held in autumn, Linhart said that the EU expects that they will be “in accordance with European notions of democracy.”
“There is a whole series of events that set us positively. We need to work on, so we are in favor of the lifting of sanctions,” said the Austrian official.
The opening of the Austrian Embassy was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Uladzimir Makei. He noted that sanctions is not the best method of building relations between the two countries:
“They are an obstacle to the establishment of trade and economic, political, humanitarian and other relations. Belarus is ready to take steps forward, ready to look for compromise solutions to existing problems,” assured Minister.
See our photo report from the opening of the Austrian Embassy:
Austria is the second largest direct investor in Belarus, last year it accounted for more than 2 billion euros. Major joint projects – modernization of the Belarusian Metallurgical Plant, Priorbank, Velcom, BelToll.
Until today in Minsk there was only Honorary Consulate of Austria, which, interestingly, was managed by a Belarusian – Siarhei Kastyuchenka, Chairman of the Board of Priorbank.