Sanctions Against Russia Would Be Ill Advised

Fischer und Nikolic: Sanktionen gegen Russland wären Unratsam

DSC_6360Austrian Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer received on Thursday, 27 March 2014, his Serbian counterpart, President Tomislav Nikolic. This was the first visit of the Serbian President to Austria.

President Nikolic was greeted with full military and state honors and President Fischer upon his arrival at Hofburg Palace.

A press conference was held by both President Dr. Fischer and His Excellency Mr. Nikolic. Both Presidents warned against imposing sanctions against Russia in connection with the annexation of the Crimea: “Sanctions are a sharp instrument which should be handled very carefully, and one should think twice about it”, President Heinz Fischer said in a joint press conference on the occasion of Nikolic’s visit.

President Fischer pointed out that “the introduction of certain sanctions is perhaps – (unfortunately) – easier than them get away from them again. ” The long-term perspective must be, in this context ” that the different nations in Europe and at the border of Europe should live together in peace and confidence and also make their economic cooperation as smooth as possible.”

In the overall assessment of the crisis in and around the Ukraine, President Fischer said that the EU had “certainly not done everything right”, especially because in his opinion “for Ukraine there can be no ‘either-or policy’ in relation to Europe and Russia, but a policy would be right which would combine good economic relations with Russia with good economic relations with Europe from the geographical and historical position of both sides.”

“President Nikolic, who ONLY smiled three times during his visit and whose country, had sad experiences with Western sanctions because of the consequence of the Balkan conflicts, said that great caution must be shown there.

He added that his country Serbia will not join the EU and US sanctions against Moscow, which is Belgrade’s most important ally in the fight against Kosovo’s independence.

President Nikolic acknowledge that the international law can not be determined on a case by case basis, but rather, rules are need – but rules are not always there.”

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