Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg expects new punitive measures against Moscow on Monday as part of the EU foreign administration. “I expect a green light today at the political level for further sanctions against Russia, against persons in the judicial apparatus, in the police apparatus who are directly responsible for dealing with it,” with Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny, said Schallenberg before the meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.
He does not believe that sanctions against Russia are “toothless”. If that were the case, Moscow would not respond with threats, Schallenberg told journalists. On the one hand they try to bring about a “change in behavior” with sanctions, on the other hand they send a “clear signal that we reject a measure, a policy”.
Regarding the controversial visit by the EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell, Schallenberg said: “Basically, I believe that it was right to continue the dialogue and go to Moscow.” With a view to the expulsion of three EU diplomats during the visit, he sharply criticized Moscow. “This is not a way of dealing with partners with whom you have a close relationship, and that will certainly have consequences, also in terms of the sanctions I am in favor of.”
With EU27 ministers, we will discuss EU actions at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday. DO
?? Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) February 21, 2021
Focus on Iran nuclear deal too
Meanwhile, during the virtual conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Iran nuclear deal will be widely discussed. Schallenberg welcomed the visit of the IAEA chief Rafael Grossi to Iran, which “has now given us a three-month respite. The patient has stabilized, so to speak, and diplomacy has to gain a foothold”. At this point in time, the Foreign Minister continued, “Europe would be called upon to draft the steps here to get both sides out of this stalemate while saving face.”
The Vienna nuclear deal concluded in 2015 is not particularly popular in Washington or Tehran, but there is “actually no alternative” to it, Schallenberg emphasized in the Ö1 morning journal. “Without this deal, Iran might already have the atomic bomb.
The re is no alternative if we want to prevent a nuclear arms race in the Gulf region.”
Austria was definitely offered as a venue for negotiations with the USA and Iran, Schallenberg said in Brussels. “It has not yet come to such negotiations. We are in the preliminary phase when it comes to creating the basis so that we can meet again at the table.”
Schallenberg also warned that too much porcelain could soon be smashed so that a return to the atomic deal is still possible. “We are walking on very thin ice. The clock is already ticking very audibly,” he said. It is essential that trust between Washington and Tehran is restored. (apa)
[ source link ]
Russia sanctions Schallenberg expects green light Foreign Ministers Council