Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Austria to meet with government and business leaders to discuss European Union (EU) sanctions on Russia. The sanctions were a response to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian government for years ago (Reuters 1). While the sanctions contributed to the two-year recession in Russia, the economy has rebounded under the current administration (AP). “We do not pursue the objective of dividing…the EU is our most important trading and economic partner,” Putin said in an Austrian interview broadcast (Reuters 2).
Putin and the Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache met to discuss ending the sanctions and normalizing political and economic relations (Reuters 1). According to the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the government intends to be a bridge between Russia and the West (BBC). However, while Strache pushes for the removal of the sanctions, Kurz does not want to cause divisions within the EU (BBC).
Tags: Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Sanctions, Putin, Europe, Austria, European Union