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Austrian Chancellor called the question of the country’s membership in NATO irrelevant

Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he understands the desire of Sweden and Finland to join NATO, but in the case of Austria this is out of the question. According to the country's defense minister, “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”

Karl Nehammer

Austria's accession to NATO is not on the agenda, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said during a visit to Prague. This is reported by OE24.

“For Austria, this issue is not relevant,”— he said and added that the country is in a different position than Sweden and Finland, which share a common border with Russia. The chancellor says he understands why the Scandinavian countries want to join the defense alliance, but in the case of Vienna, “that's out of the question.”

Nehammer repeated the thesis that he expressed before the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine: “Austria was, is and will remain neutral.” declaring that “neutrality is in the heart of the Austrians”. At the same time, she added, neutrality needs to be discussed both in society and in parliament, especially given the Russian operation.

Austria has maintained a policy of neutrality since 1955, but cooperates closely with NATO. In particular, in May, Vienna resumed interaction with the block under the Partnership for Peace program. (program of NATO's bilateral military cooperation with non-alliance countries). Turkey blocked it in 2017 in response to Vienna's refusal to support the country's EU membership.

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Read on RBC Pro Pro The most relevant platforms for promotion today: a big review Instructions Pro $170 million mistake: why Amazon tried to create an alternative to the iPhone Pro Something new: how to transfer an employee to another company during downtime Articles Pro Shortage of medical equipment is a risk. Is its import substitution possible in Russia Forecasts Pro Development “without interference”: what analysts said about the 2008 crisisOn the eve of Reuters reported that the strengthening of ties with NATO began to discuss Switzerland. Ministry of Defense spokeswoman Paelvi Pulli told the agency that “ultimately there may be changes in the interpretation of neutrality.” The head of the department, Viola Amerd, believes that Switzerland should cooperate more closely with NATO, but not join the alliance.

On May 17, Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO. The documents will be considered by the North Atlantic Council, after which the agreement must be ratified in all 30 countries of the bloc. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier promised that if Helsinki and Stockholm want to join the alliance, they will promptly receive a positive response. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the entry of Finland and Sweden into NATO does not pose a threat, but the expansion of military infrastructure in the territory of the Scandinavian countries “will certainly cause our response.”

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