Austrian businesses not leaving Russia – ambassador

Companies have remained despite “unprecedented pressure,” the Russian envoy has said

The vast majority of Austrian companies present in Russia continue to operate even in the face of Western sanctions, the Russian ambassador to Vienna, Dmitry Lyubinsky, stated on Friday.   

Most of the 650 Austrian firms working in the Russian market have stayed, the diplomat said in an interview with RIA Novosti.  

Lyubinsky noted that entrepreneurs in both countries “are showing great interest in the continuation of mutually beneficial cooperation.” He added that despite facing “unprecedented pressure,” only a “handful” of Austrian companies have opted to leave Russia.   

The envoy pointed at numbers which indicate that Russia remained among Austria’s top ten trade partners in 2022. It also ranked sixth in terms of export volumes “despite the desire of the Austrian authorities to freeze everything connected with Russia,” Lyubinsky stated.    

Austrian businesses, in particular industries with high energy consumption, have suffered heavy losses due to anti-Russian sanctions.   

The ambassador’s remarks come as imports of Russian gas to Austria approach pre-conflict levels, with Russian energy major Gazprom once again delivering the total contracted amounts.  

“We are temporarily back at 100% [gas deliveries] at the moment, but have also seen volumes at 30% and below in the past,” the CFO at Austrian energy major OMV, Reinhard Florey, was quoted by Euroactiv as saying.  

Austria is heavily reliant on Russian natural gas supplies, with some 80% of its domestic consumption covered by the sanctioned country.

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