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Refugee crisis demonstrates EU incapacities — Austria’s ex-president

October 27, 2016, 19:08 UTC+3 SOCHI

The European Union should not lose sight of how the relations between Russia and the West have developed in the past, the ex-president says

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Heinz Fischer

Heinz Fischer

© EPA/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

SOCHI, October 27. /TASS/. The European Union has lost its cohesion and the refugee crisis has demonstrated the 28-nation bloc’s incapacities, former Austrian president Heinz Fischer said on Thursday.

"The European Union has lost some of its cohesion and attractiveness," Fischer said at a session of the Valdai Discussion Club.

"This is due to insufficient amount of economic and financial coordination since different interests between member states become increasingly visible with increased challenges and because European solidarity does not work in the way it would be necessary," he said. "I just have to mention the problem of refugees where the European Union demonstrated a lot of incapacities and the lack of solidarity."

"The relationship between Russia and the European Union also did not develop in a way we had hoped it would 25 years ago," he added.

"I know the arguments of both sides. Who or what is responsible for this development?

Yet when we now speak not about the past but about the future, both sides should demonstrate that they are aware of the importance of their relationship," Fischer said.

"The European Union, in particular, should not lose sight of how the relations between Russia and the West have developed in the past, in the last century, for instance, and that the evolution of NATO is seen differently by Moscow than it is by Washington or Brussels," he said.

"And Russia, in my opinion, should increasingly consider that certain actions that are connected to military force and incompatible with international law irritate and worry the European public and the European policy.".

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