austria opposition chairman
© Reuters
Heinz-Christian Strache
Crimea is part of Russia, and it must be recognized. This was stated on Friday by the chairman of the Austrian Freedom Party Heinz-Christian Strache on the eve of the elections to the National Council of Austria (lower house of parliament) on October 15.

"The Crimea is a real part of Russia, it needs to be accepted." Sanctions on this issue should eventually be canceled.", Strache said in response to a question from the Austrian press agency whether Austria should recognize the reunification of Crimea with Russia and abolish the related sanctions.

In turn, the head of the New Austria party, Matthias Stroltz, noted that Austria can not yet acknowledge the fact of reunification. "But we need to agree that the Crimea will never return to Ukraine, and cancellation of the sanctions can follow Russia's clear steps towards democracy, freedom of speech, respect for human rights. Without this, sanctions can not be lifted, " Stroltz said.

At the same time, Chancellor of Austria Christian Kern and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurtz still believe that "the annexation of Crimea violates international law." "But the sanctions did not lead to an improvement in the situation in Ukraine," Kern added.

Via NRT 24