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Austrian Chancellor says EU embargo on Russian gas “impossible”


Vienna, July 29 (IANS) Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has said that an embargo on Russian gas in the European Union (EU) is “impossible” due to EU countries’ heavy dependence on Russian energy.

His comments came after a meeting with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Vienna on Thursday, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Austrian news agency APA, Nehammer added at a press conference that Germany and Austria’s dependence on Russian gas makes an EU embargo “impossible,” as the decline of the German economy would also impact Austria and lead to mass unemployment.

On Tuesday, EU member states agreed on a 15-per cent voluntary reduction of natural gas demand from the average of 2017-2021, in preparation for possible supply disruptions this winter.

At the press conference, the Austrian Chancellor also criticized the EU’s slowness in establishing a joint energy purchase mechanism.

A common energy platform is now more important than ever to avoid competition between EU countries, he said.

“We are seeing many announcements by the European Commission but very little implementation,” he added.


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