Austria supports Ukraine – but not military, minister

11 April, 04:07 PM
Karoline Edtstadler (Photo:eu2018at/

Karoline Edtstadler (Photo:eu2018at/

Austria supports Ukraine, but not through supplying weapons, the minister for the European Union and the Constitution in the Austrian government, Karoline Edtstadler, said on April 11.

"We have always been as clear as possible,” Edtstadler said in an interview with German daily newspaper Tagesspiegel.

“Austria is military neutral, but in no sense politically neutral. We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian people, we provide humanitarian and economic support to them, but we do not supply weapons.”

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The Austrian Parliament declared the country permanently neutral in 1955. This norm is enshrined in the constitution.

"Of course, we have changed since then, especially after joining the European Union in 1995 and gaining obligations to support other countries. All this is possible even though we are neutral," Edtstadler said.

The neutral status means no foreign military bases are allowed in Austria, and the country is not allowed to be a member of any military alliances.

"We’re sticking to that, as before, but we can still provide significant support for Ukraine,” the Austrian minister said.

For us, neutrality was the path to freedom and quite identity-forming. In particular, Vienna has established itself as a place of peace negotiations and the seat of international organizations."

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