The Austrian Foreign Ministry Commented the Information about the Desire of Vienna to Soften the Sanctions against Lukashenko
“The sanctions should be also apply to the financial sector. In this regard, Austria is in favor of a ban on trading in securities and money market instruments, which will be a harsh measure. It is very important for Austria that financial sanctions are not targeted at the population of Belarus. It is in our common interests that Belarus would not drawn further into the sphere of influence of Russia,” the Austrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement to EUObserver, quoted by the newspaper.
EUObserver also provides comments from anonymous employees of the EU diplomatic corps. According to one of them, the Austrian side wants to ease the sanctions to such an extent that they have practically no effect on the banking sector. A second anonymous source said that in this case, financial interests are clearly placed above the principles. The third expressed confidence that Austria would eventually support the decision of the rest of the countries.
A source in the EU called Austria's concern about the welfare of the Belarusian people and pushing Belarus towards Russia a "typical false report".
“It is impossible to impose any economic sanctions without the loss of jobs, and it is Lukashenko, not the EU, who, by his actions, is bringing his country closer to Russia,” the source said.
The last round of negotiations on sanctions was held in Brussels yesterday. In the future, they will be submitted for approval by the EU Council.
The publication points out that Austrian financial institutions last year, when some other European banks began to refuse financing in Belarus, began to provide loans more actively.
The article also mentions that Raiffeisen Bank owns the Belarusian Priorbank, which may also be related to the position of Austrian diplomats when discussing sanctions measures.