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Austrian President: Anti-Russia Sanctions Hurt Both Parties

April 6, 2016 (EIRNS)—The president of Austria, who is on a two-day official visit to Moscow, called anti-Russian sanctions bad for both parties.

Speaking at a meeting with Speaker of the Russian Duma Sergei Naryshkin, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said, "This issue worries us, too, and I was immediately ready to answer it: I have always said that sanctions hurt both sides!"

"Our position in these [EU] discussions [on anti-Russia sanctions] includes that it is necessary to consider all the possibilities of relationship development between Russia and the European Union. The most important part is that it is necessary to find such a path, a common way for all of us, to develop it, which would result in the removal soon of most of the sanctions," Fischer pointed out, according to a report by Sputnik news.

Fischer had earlier met with his host, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, who said when he warmly welcomed Fischer to the Kremlin, "Despite the difficulties we have encountered of late, relations between Russia and Austria continue to develop, and we attach great importance to these ties.

We have always put particular emphasis on our trade and economic relations. Sadly, the difficulties I have just mentioned have caused a substantial drop in our trade turnover, a decrease of around 25 percent, though Russian exports to Austria, surprising as it might seem, actually increased slightly over the previous year.

Russia is one of the biggest investors in Austria's economy. Austria and Austrian companies have also invested considerable resources and funds in Russia's economy.

Fischer also met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Austria has suffered a 50-percent decrease in food exports because of Russian sanctions imposed on food imports from the European Union in retaliation for anti-Russian sanctions. Austrian Minister of Agriculture Andrae Rupprechter told Sputnik Germany, "The aim of Austrian President Heinz Fischer's visit to Russia was to prepare us for cooperation following the lifting of the embargo."

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