Austria provides help and demands reforms from Kyiv

At the international reconstruction conference for Ukraine in Lugano, Switzerland, which ends today after two days, Austria showed its solidarity on the one hand, and on the other hand warned that Ukraine was obliged to pay.

“The support for Ukraine cannot be questioned,” emphasized Europe Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP). At the same time, it is “essential that the reforms continue”.

Conditions for EU rapprochement

In her statement to the conference participants, Edtstadler emphasized Austria’s previous commitment to Ukraine and the funds of more than 80 million euros that have been spent on it so far. Specifically, she mentioned, among other things, capacities for accommodating more than 78,000 refugees that had been created in Austria and the expansion of ÖBB rail transport for the export of Ukrainian grain, which due to the blockade of the Ukrainian Black Sea ports could not be exported by sea as before the war can be.

Even if support for Ukraine is not in question, the Western Balkan states should not fall behind Ukraine in terms of EU integration, emphasized the minister, in line with the Austrian government’s line. Ukraine’s EU rapprochement must also be based on progress. Ukraine has made such progress – for example in administration and in the fight against corruption – and must continue to do so.

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