MAJOR: Anti-Russia sanctions have cost Austria $100 billion

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VIENNA, Austria – Austrian municipalities were greatly affected by anti-Russian sanctions, especially companies in Austria and other European countries, said the former mayor of the city Linz, Detlef Wimmer, at the International Economic Forum in Yalta.

The official indicated that the economic restrictions caused damages amounting to “$100 billion”.

“The United States, which imposed sanctions against Russia, has harmed even the companies of many European countries, but Russia managed to survive, we see the situation in Crimea, we see what has been built here in the last five years,” said Wimmer.

The mayor of the city added that Austria at the district level does not share “the principles that lead to sanctions.”

The relations between Moscow and the West worsened as a result of the situation in Ukraine and the reincorporation of Crimea to Russia after the referendum held in March 2014, in which more than 96% of the voters endorsed this option.

That same year, the EU, the United States and several countries in its orbit imposed sanctions on Russia for the incorporation of Crimea and for its supposed role in the Ukrainian crisis, a role that Moscow rejects, which is why it responded with an agri-food embargo.

Moscow repeatedly pointed out that the referendum in Crimea was carried out in compliance with international law and the UN Charter.

The Yalta International Economic Forum was held from April 18 to 20 and was attended by more than 4,500 attendees from nearly a hundred countries, including Germany, France, Italy, Mexico and others.

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EU countries should not “dance to the beat” of US President Donald Trump, said Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in an interview with the Welt newspaper last month.

“The US president Trump, for no reason, abandoned the agreement with Iran on the nuclear program (…) and then banned European companies from doing business with Iran under the threat of severe sanctions, I think it’s too much, Europeans they should not dance to the sound of Trump,” said Van der Bellen.

He added that European countries should follow an independent policy also in other matters, where the US and Europe have “discrepancies.”

In January, the US ambassador in Berlin, Richard Grenell, sent letters to several German companies in which he warned of “a great risk of sanctions” for those who participate together with Russia in the Nord Stream 2 project.

In August 2018, Washington reinstated sanctions against Iran and in November extended the restriction measures.

These are the restrictions that the United States had lifted in 2015 when the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan (PAIC) entered into force, then signed by Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Germany and the European Union.

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