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VIENNA, December 24. /TASS/. Austria hopes that sanctions will be lifted from Russia but Vienna will not go against the European Union in this matter, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.
Vienna will call on all sides in the conflict to implement the Minsk Agreements, he said. "Current sanctions imposed by the European Union and endorsed by Austria as a loyal member of the European Union, were connected with the developments in Crimea and Ukraine," Fischer reminded. "What we Austrians can do is to contribute to maintaining pressure so that both sides [in the Ukrainian conflict] observe the agreements," he added. "The sooner it becomes more obvious that the agreements are implemented, the sooner the sanctions can be lifted," he stressed.
"Of course, they will be canceled because I want to see the future without sanctions, and do not want to see sanctions in the future," the Austrian president said noting that in this issue "Austria remains the loyal member of the European Union."
"We are discussing these decisions [with other EU member countries] and we are jointly implementing them, and they also can be jointly cancelled," Fischer said adding that "both sides should contribute to this."
In general, the Austrian president said that "it is good if the problem can be solved without sanctions." "Even if significant disagreements persist, economic sanctions are still better than any use of force," Fischer concluded.