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Austrian President Denounces Sanctions against Russia and the EU Destruction of Ukraine

Dec. 29, 2014 (EIRNS)—Austrian President Heinz Fischer rejected any new sanctions against Russia as unwise and harmful in an interview to Wirtschaftsblatt newspaper, as reported in RT. He went further to denounce the EU "free trade deal" as misconceived and destructive of Ukraine.

"The approach that more and more sanctions should be implemented against Russia until it is weak enough to forcefully accept the EU’s own political objectives is a mistake," said Fischer.

"I support those who say that we have reached a stage where ... the imposition of new sanctions against Russia will continue to hinder its development, but will not bring us closer to an amicable solution.... The Russian economy has a certain degree of robustness, but the sanctions pose considerable problems ... a serious crisis in Russia and an economic collapse would only create more problems. The doors between Europe and Russia must remain open in the economic field."

He called on Ukraine to end the confrontation.

"Serious talk of reforms in the area of decentralization or federalization would have to be done, which would foster a situation in eastern Ukraine where both sides could live together."

But he went further, arguing that the EU overestimated the appeal of the free trade deal, which forced Ukraine to choose between Europe and Russia. "Brussels apparently overestimated the attractiveness of European Union Association Agreement compared to the other option for Ukraine—namely the offer from Russia," he said.

"It was recognized only at the last moment that it was a real ordeal for Ukraine to choose between the EU offer and the billion dollar offer from Vladimir Putin, which was better suited for the realities faced by Ukraine in the fall of 2013. Ukraine needs to be free to build its own relationships with both Europe and Russia."