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Austria makes pledge on neutral status — Analysis

Vienna has no plans to change its non-aligned status, the country’s foreign minister has said

Austria is not a NATO member and has no plans to become one in the near future, the nation’s foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg, told journalists in Brussels on Monday. Schallenberg answered questions regarding his position on the aspirations of both Sweden and Finland to join NATO. “fully respects”These decisions by Helsinki and Stockholm were also added to “is their decision and not ours.”

“Austria will continue to be a neutral country,”He said. But, he said that the Swedish and Finnish moves were a “remarkable”. “strong signal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, indicating that Moscow’s policies are flawed.

“[Putin]NATO became more important and [what]He achieved this was [forcing] two countries to join NATO,” the Austrian minister said, adding that the Russian president’s security strategy “has blown [up] in his face.”

Officially, Stockholm and Helsinki announced on Sunday their plans to join the military bloc. Moscow repeatedly stated that it will have to react if Finland or Sweden join NATO. Russia considers NATO expansion a threat to its security.

Putin declared Moscow in response to the developments “has no problems” with either of the two nations joining NATO but considers the advancement of the alliance’s military infrastructure a threat.

Schallenberg, however, called for unity in the EU’s response to anti-Russian sanction. “make it clear”Moscow to pay the Ukrainian attack costs “remain high.”While the minister conceded that EU members may not be able to see each other on the next round sanctions, she said that they are in agreement with the EU “has so far managed to demonstrate an incredible image of unity… and should seek to keep it that way.”

Austria’s top diplomat also urged Brussels to counter Russia’s influence in the Balkans as he warned of Moscow’s ability to destabilize the region. “It is our most important geostrategic task to ensure that it is the European model of values and life that [prevails],”He added that “there is no vacuum in politics”You can do it! “either our value model or a foreign one.”

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Schallenberg was speaking ahead of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting that would also involve Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. The ministers were expected to discuss the Russian military operation in Ukraine and their response to Moscow’s actions, as well as the new round of sanctions.

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