Russia is an important economic partner of the Economic Union, but in lifting of the sanctions the respect for the European values should be above economic benefits, Austria’s Chancellor Christian Kern said in an interview with Kurier, extracts from which were published in the newspaper’s online version.
"Russia is an important economic partner, with which we have many ties, and to which Austria owes a lot historically," he said in response to a question, whether Russia is the EU’s partner.
Speaking about sanctions and demands from Austrian businesses to have them lifted, the chancellor said "from the economic point of view it would be important to stop the sanctions."
"Reviewing them - is also correct," he said. "However, respect for the European values should be above a short-term economic success."
The European Union should be watching closely processes in the Balkans not to miss the chance of expanding the union by membership of Serbia, he continued. "We are very interested in processes in the Balkans."
The European Union, he continued, sees Turkey and Russia have been demonstrating their interests there. "Europe should not allow that territory into third hands," the Austrian chancellor said. "For me, this would mean quick joining of Serbia."
"We should also consider Albany," he added.
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