Former Chancellor Franz Vranitzky (SPÖ) is skeptical of the Russian proposal for neutrality in Ukraine, referring to Austria’s historical experience. Vranitsky said he was not surprised by Kyiv’s reluctance Upper Austria news. “The Russians had already offered to guarantee Austria’s neutrality. That would have meant too much dependence on them and it was rightly denied.”
According to Vranitsky, one must “examine very carefully” what lies behind Moscow’s proposal, both politically and militarily. “One should not expect an immediate solution.” Moscow on Wednesday presented Ukraine’s neutral status along the lines of Austria or Sweden as a “compromise”. The Ukrainian government responded negatively and insisted on concrete security guarantees from countries other than aggressor Russia.
Criticisms of the “NATO way”
In the interview, Vranitsky also criticized the mistakes of the West towards Russia. The “window of opportunity” that existed in the 1990s has not been exploited. “Instead, they took the NATO path that was well followed,” the former chancellor said. Vranitsky said that Vladimir Putin in 1999 was a “different person,” and emphasized that he “doesn’t understand Putin.”
The head of the government for a long time (1986-1997) called for the development of an independent European defense policy and the reduction of economic dependence on Russia. “Many of us in the energy, construction and banking sectors have pulled Russia’s card (…) now we have to go a long way.”
to strengthen the army
In the field of defense, the SPÖ politician spoke in favor of the army “(should) develop a force that is taken seriously”. “It can then be reliably available within the framework of the rules of assistance – while maintaining neutrality, for example with the blue helmets,” wrote Vranitzky, who described the withdrawal of Austrian UN soldiers from the Golan Heights announced under SPÖ Chancellor Werner Faymann. In 2013 he also criticized the “incomprehensible”.
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