Deputy leader of Freedom Party (Austria) and leader of fraction in the Vienna City Parliament.
Our position on Russia, the EU and the USA, and in particular on the neutrality of Austria, is clear: Politics in the EU may not be run at the behest of the USA, which can and will only cause damage to European countries in the long run. Brussels must lift the sanctions against Russia without delay and seek a solution to the Ukraine conflict together with Putin. Only if the EU and Russia pull in the same direction will both sides benefit. US interests may not stand in the way, that is a clear demand from the FPÖ. The powers-that-be in Europe must finally realise that the important axis required by Europe is not Brussels-Washington but Paris-Berlin-Moscow.
In accordance with Austria’s national identity and image, the FPÖ considers itself neutral, and is now the only party in the country that upholds the principle of neutrality. We gladly share our thoughts and views with anyone, and warn of one-sided partisanship in the strategic interests of others. At the same time, the FPÖ calls upon the ruling Austrian parties to conduct themselves in line with Austria’s neutrality. Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Federal Chancellor Werner Faymann must determine their positions in accordance with this neutrality and should not blindly follow guidelines from Brussels.
The Ukraine crisis and the sanctions against Russia have highlighted something else too. This EU is on the wrong track. One almost gets the impression that they genuinely want nothing other than to get rid of Europe’s diversity and create standard a European people. The national differences that are the source of Europe’s spiritual and cultural wealth are to be eradicated in order to smooth the way for a new dictatorship of the EU lobby and large corporations, making this as easy as possible. The FPÖ is fighting not against Europe, but against this EU egalitarianism.
What is more, Brussels must finally stop playing the global moral police role. Serbia for example, an EU candidate country, recently learned how Eurocrats comment on any and all political activities that they are not really responsible for, and even try to regulate them. Neither Brussels nor Washington are in a position to judge how Serbia welcomes a guest of the state like Vladimir Putin or which bilateral agreement between decades-old trading partners should be signed. Brussels finally has to stop commenting on and watching like a hawk every step the Russian President takes on European soil.
Europe can only prevail if it desists from all efforts to create a constitution for a centralist European super state, and sets the goal of establishing a Europe of free and independent countries within the framework of a federation of sovereign nation-states. Furthermore, effectively protecting Europe against threats such as terrorism, aggressive Islamism, superpower imperialism and economic aggression by means of low-wage countries should be just as much of a priority as putting an immediate stop to immigration from outside Europe in all countries of the European Union, also under the umbrella of “family reunifications”. And that can only happen with the support of reliable partners, as Russia has been over decades.
The emancipation of the EU from US efforts to achieve hegemony would also be an important step forwards. Confidant of Helmut Kohl and former defence spokesman Willy Wimmer explained in an interview that the Americans have very precise information – seen in 2000 – as to how they would imagine Europe. They wanted to draw a line from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, and from there towards Anatolia. Everything west of this line should be under the influence of the USA. This was explicitly declared at a conference in Bratislava hosted by a US government department. This is exactly how Eurocrats in Brussels are acting, and this approach is damaging for Europe and its individual constituent economies – as shown by the current sanctions and their impacts. We should not just give in so readily to pressure from the USA on the EU.
In the meantime, the EU’s anti-Russian stance has claimed its first victim: the South Stream pipeline project that has been underway for years has now been abandoned by the Russians because the EU has not deviated from its official opinion that the construction of South Stream would contradict EU regulations. This blockade mentality of the EU is incomprehensible and a risk for each and every Member State. The mere announcement by former EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger that he would do everything to delay the work on South Stream was an open affront to Russia. The government in Sofia was the first to comply with Oettinger’s request and stopped construction on the pipeline.
Bulgaria was the first country to meet this call. It remains to be seen how much we can talk about blackmail from the EU in this context. That said, it is clear to all that Sofia is reliant on funding from Brussels and it would be rather ill-advised to oppose the mighty EU.
By putting a stop to the pipeline project, countries such as Serbia and Bulgaria are stiff-armed into acting against their own economic interests and following the EU’s lead, but this also harms the Austrian economy. Austrian energy company OMV and steel manufacturer voestalpine are partners in the pipeline project. According to market estimates, voestalpine’s contract alone is worth EUR 100 million, which has just gone up in a puff of smoke thanks to the ignorant actions of the EU. For Serbia, the project being ended by Kremlin chief Putin is an economic catastrophe. Seven years were invested in the project – and now the EU candidate country can sit on the bill. It is out of the question for South Stream to be used as a bargaining chip in the Ukraine crisis.
Brussels seemingly has a significant interest in ensuring that gas continues to flow to Europe through Ukraine that is under western control. This is lunacy given the instability of the country that the EU is partly responsible for. At the same time, we must not forget that Ukraine has repeatedly used the transit pipelines to exercise political pressure. Some 63 billion cubic metres of gas for up to 38 million households in Europe would have been transported via South Stream, ensuring a significantly secure supply. The interests represented by the Eurocrats in Brussels are clearly not those of EU citizens. Since Turkey will likely be the beneficiary of the abandoned South Stream Pipeline, it is clear who profits from the blockade mentality of the EU. Evil unto him who thinks evil of it.
Former Soviet President Michael Gorbachev, who is one of the “fathers of German unification”,
issued such a warning in an interview with the newspaper “Rossijskaja Gaseta”: “No-one may engage themselves in a new Cold War.” A warning that evidently fell on deaf ears, especially at the EU. Gorbachev urgently called for the lifting of sanctions against Russia.
It is high time to listen to those who have already had a decisive influence on history, for the benefit of the whole of Europe. We Europeans must adopt a clear approach for the good of all citizens and the European community of values.