Austria’s Neutrality in the Wake of the Ukrainian Conflict

Published April 09, 2022

“We will do all we can to ensure peace... but if war is imposed upon us we will be together shoulder to shoulder as in the last war to strive for the happiness of mankind.”

- General Georgy Zhukov (1896-1974)

Austria’s chancellor Karl Nehammer and foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg’s undiplomatic stance and comments directed towards Russia in the wake of Russia’s determination to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine by means of a military operation led to a straining of Austria’s long and unique relationship with Russia.

In response to the stance adopted by Nehammer and Schallenberg, the Russian embassy in Vienna has published the following reprimanding statement:

“We became aware of some unilateral and outrageous statements made by Austrian government officials about Russia in relation to the situation in Ukraine in the last few days.

Among other things, the Chancellor of Austria (a neutral country), Karl Nehammer, in his television interview on 27 February and at the press conference on 1 March, used emotional anti-Russian rhetoric to accuse the Russian government of instigating war, violating international humanitarian law and even committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Also, according to Nehammer's claims, neutrality was "forced" on Austria by Soviet communists after WWII as a pre-condition for the withdrawal of occupation forces. It should be remembered that Austria gained its independence in 1955 with the signing of the State Treaty for the restoration of an independent and democratic Austria by the USSR, Great Britain, the USA, and France, which only became possible after the liberation from fascism by the Red Army and the Allies in 1945. The liberation of the territory of that country came at a high price: the irretrievable losses of the Soviet army amounted to more than 26,000 lives.

At the aforementioned press conference, Austria's Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Alexander Schallenberg, also made absurd accusations against Russia, making it responsible for the destruction of the European security architecture and the "war crime-like" attacks on the civilian population and the civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

We strongly condemn such unfounded statements and assessments. We very much regret that Austrian dignitaries are speaking out with such voices, thereby raising serious doubts about the quality of Vienna's "neutrality", which has been noticeably declining and eroding in recent times. We will take this into account in the future.”

In response, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted with the following message on Twitter:

"Austria is militarily a neutral country. However, we are never politically neutral when it comes to respecting international law. We are by no means neutral in the face of violence and we will never remain silent when a state's sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence are attacked. We will always take a firm stand against this at all levels. Compliance with international law, in particular the provisions of international humanitarian law, is our red line."

During his television interview, Nehammer stated that Austria’s neutrality was the result of "a pressure scenario" implying that the Soviet Union pressured Austria to become neutral. While Nehammer did say that "neutrality has helped Austria build stability", he failed to mention the great sacrifices made by Russia in liberating Austria from fascism.

Austria’s independence came at a great cost. Over 26,000 Russian soldiers gave their lives in liberating Austria from fascism.

Austria gained its independence when the Four Powers (the United States, Great Britain, France, and the Soviet Union) signed the Austrian State Treaty in Vienna on May 15 1955. The treaty ended the four-power occupation which lasted 17 years and declared Austria to be a free, independent, and neutral state.

It was the promise in the Moscow Memorandum of April 15 1955 in which the Austrian delegation promised that Austria would adopt neutrality that enabled the conclusion of the negotiations of the Austrian State Treaty of May 15, 1955 with the Soviet Union and the other three powers.

Following Russia’s military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine, Austria’s neutrality was questioned by Andreas Kohl who served as President of the National Council from 2002 to 2006. Kohl who is a member of the ruling Conservative Party of Austria (ÖVP) said:

“A neutral or non-aligned state is left alone when attacked and no one will come to its aid. Ukraine shows that. Austria must decide whether to join NATO or an EU army.”

Here we need to realize that Austria’s situation is completely different from that of Ukraine. An armed conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine has been raging since 2014 with Russia constantly accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian-speaking Ukrainians and of committing atrocities in the Donbas region. The fighting in the Donbas region has claimed the lives of almost 14,000 people so far. But there are other causes of the current crisis that will be examined in this article.

When assessing Kohl’s views on Austria’s neutrality, we need to consider the fact that neutrality has been Austria’s key strength and has kept Austria safe for many decades. Austria’s permanent neutrality has allowed Austria to become a diplomatic hub for promoting the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes.

Austria’s permanent neutrality should not be considered a remnant of the cold war or a weakness. Rather, neutrality is Austria’s strength and should be leveraged to defuse tensions by diplomacy.

The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' statement that "Austria is militarily a neutral state. But we are never politically neutral when it comes to respecting international law" needs to be interpreted in light of the fact that the Nehammer government is entrusted with the task of running the affairs of a neutral state. A neutral state is expected to adopt a diplomatic approach and language when communicating with other countries. The language adopted by Nehammer and Schallenberg as well as their calls for imposing sanctions against Russia fails in this respect as they run contrary to the nature of Austria as a neutral state and when we consider Austria’s unique historical relationship with Russia.

During an interview, Schallenberg stated that the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) against Russia have "a bite."

The EU’s sanctions against Russia are ill-thought and counterproductive as sanctions not only damage relationships and hurt the economies of countries causing job losses, commodity shortages, and price increases for consumers but they also sever the cultural ties that are necessary to nurture and sustain peace and harmony between nations. The sanctions against Russia resulted in Russia placing Austria on the list of unfriendly states, a move that could have been avoided had Austria and the EU adopted a diplomatic approach and attempted to defuse the crisis by peaceful means.

Schallenberg stated that "There is no justification whatsoever for the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Russia is currently wantonly destroying the common European security order" and that Russia will be "held accountable."

Here we need to ask ourselves two questions: the first question is why would Russia want to "destroy the common European security order" ? If we think about it, it is in Russia’s political and economic interest that Europe remains politically and economically stable.

The second question is who is responsible for this crisis and why did Russia decide to conduct a military operation in Ukraine, knowing that the West will impose severe sanctions against it? If we think about it, Russia is taking a big bet.

The causes of the crisis: NATO and the EU

The common wisdom amongst liberal Western globalists and their followers is that Russia is the aggressor and therefore should be severely punished. Russian President Vladimir Putin is depicted as a crazy, irrational dictator bent on creating a greater Russia, a warmonger with whom one cannot make peace and whose actions resemble those of Adolf Hitler. It is when we examine the underlying causes of the crisis, that we will realize that Western liberal globalists are in fact the main cause and are ultimately responsible for the current crisis as they pursue their imperialist agenda.

Ukraine has deep historical, ethnic, and cultural ties with Russia that cannot be severed or simply ignored. Neverthless, Ukraine is a divided country with the western part of Ukraine looking toward the West while the eastern part of Ukraine wants to remain close to Russia. Ukrainians speak Ukrainian and Russian as a second language. ​​An examination of the deep historical, cultural, and spiritual bonds between Russia and Ukraine is beyond the scope of this article.

Following the formula of divide and rule, liberal Western globalists have exploited this division with the United States government going so far as to provide arms and training to Ukrainian neo-Nazis such as the Azov battalion, an extremist, far-right battalion within the Ukrainian armed forces.

As most of us are well aware, the United States government is known to topple regimes and destabilize countries around the world under the disguise of promoting American democracy and values. The United States government does not do this because it cares about democracy, human rights, or the welfare of people in other countries but because it believes that a pro-American regime will serve America's economic and military interests.

The real cause of the Ukrainian conflict lies in the attempts of liberal Western globalists to bring Ukraine away from Russia and integrate it economically and militarily into the West. This is to be achieved by admitting Ukraine to join the European Union as an economic institution and by making Ukraine a member of NATO.

The problem began with NATO's Bucharest summit in April 2008 when at the end of the summit, the following declaration was issued:

"NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO."

This declaration is a breach of former US Secretary of States James Baker’s famous "not one inch eastward" promise during his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, that NATO will not seek eastward expansion.

At the end of the NATO summit in Romania, President Putin said that Moscow will view any eastward expansion by the Western alliance as a direct threat.

In response to the Bucharest Declaration, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said:

"Georgia's and Ukraine's membership in the alliance is a huge strategic mistake which will have the most serious consequence for pan-European security."

Ukraine’s plans to join NATO were shelved when Viktor Yanukovych won the presidential election in 2010. Yanukovych preferred to keep Ukraine neutral.

Despite Moscow’s unambiguous message, at the Brussels Summit in June 2021, NATO leaders reiterated the decision taken at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Ukraine would become a member of the military alliance.

Thirty countries have joined NATO so far. NATO’s eastward expansion is the main reason why Russia decided to conduct military operations in Ukraine and President Putin has made it clear that Russia wants Ukraine to officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led military bloc.

When we study history, we will see that there is a resemblance between the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when the United States accused the Soviet Union of placing missiles in Cuba just 103 miles from the US border, and the current conflict between Russia and NATO.

At the height of the crisis, US President John F. Kennedy delivered a nationwide televised address on October 22, 1962, on all of the major networks announcing the discovery of the missiles. Kennedy’s message was clear. He said:

"It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."

Kennedy’s policy was in line with the Monroe Doctrine.

We have to realize that for Russia, NATO is a remnant of the cold war, and Russia already had to put up with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania who are next to Russia’s border joining NATO. But for Russia, Ukraine is different and it’s about time for NATO to realize this and respect Russia’s concerns. For the sake of peace, NATO must cease its military expansion.

The events of February 2014

The events of February 2014 also known in the West as The Revolution of Dignity or the Euromaidan Revolution is seen by Russia as a violent coup organized by the United States with the help of Ukrainian fascists and neo-Nazis to oust Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and overthrow the Ukrainian government.

The events of February 22, 2014, have significant importance in the history of Ukraine and it is important for us to have an idea of what happened back then and the implications of these events. The origins of this event began on November 21, 2013, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was negotiating with the European Union with the aim of forming an association agreement to bring Ukraine and the European Union closer together, which would eventually pave the way for Ukraine to become a member of the European Union.

The concept of Ukraine reaching a deal exclusively with the European Union was understandably unacceptable to Russia.

The EU’s offer to Ukraine was not a good one. The EU’s unwillingness to be flexible in its demands made its offer less attractive to Ukraine and Yanukovych described the EU’s offer to lend Ukraine 610 million euros as inadequate and said that his country would need at least 20 billion euros a year in order to upgrade Ukraine’s economy to meet"European standards."

President Putin presents Ukraine with a far better offer than that of the EU. Russia offered to invest $15 billion in Ukraine’s government debt and reduce by almost a third the price that Ukraine’s Naftogaz pays for Russian gas. Russia also agreed to remove trade barriers between the two countries.

Yanukovych accepted Russia’s offer and announced that he is suspending preparations for signing the association agreement in Vilnius, which would have opened borders for trading in goods and eased travel restrictions, arguing that Ukraine cannot afford to sacrifice its trade relationship with Russia.

This move by President Yanukovych leads to what is known in the West as the pro-EU Euromaidan movement or the Revolution of Dignity. Violent protests erupted with many casualties. The involvement of significant fascist elements bearing arms among the protestors became clear. There were many killings on the Maidan. Amidst the February 22, 2014 Euromaidan unrest, Yanukovych fled to Russia for safety.

The Ukrainian parliament voted to remove Yanukovich from office, hours after he abandoned his Kyiv office.

Yanukovich said he would not resign and called the parliament’s decision "illegal". Yanukovich stated that "The events witnessed by our country and the whole world are an example of a coup d'etat," and compared the events to the rise of the National Socialists to power in Germany in the 1930s.

Russia considered the overthrow of Yanukovich to be an illegal coup and refused to recognize the interim government.

On June 22, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote an op-ed which he published in the German newspaper Die Zeit in which he blamed the West for the coup of February 2014. Putin wrote:

"The consequences of this aggressive policy are vividly illustrated by the example of the 2014 Ukrainian tragedy. Europe actively supported the armed unconstitutional coup in Ukraine. It all started with that. Why was that necessary? President Viktor Yanukovych, who was in office at the time, had already accepted all of the opposition's demands. Why did the USA organize this coup and why did the EU states support it and thus provoke the split within Ukraine and Crimea's exit from the Ukrainian state?

The entire European security system is currently in a desolate state. Tensions are mounting, and the risk of a new arms race is palpable. We are missing out on enormous opportunities that the cooperation offers us."

Putin wrote that Russia wants "open, fair, and creative cooperation."

On February 6, 2014, the Washington Post published an article titled "In recording of U.S. diplomat, blunt talk on Ukraine" which sheds some light on the US government’s involvement in Ukrainian politics.

The resurgence of Ukrainian Fascism, the Azov Battalion, and the involvement of the United States

"In the foreseeable future, it was possible that the pro-Nazi regime in Kyiv could have laid its hands on weapons of mass destruction, and its target, of course, would have been Russia." - President Vladimir Putin

At this point, it becomes necessary to examine Ukraine’s fascism problem and the involvement of the United States.

Fascism in Ukraine has a long history that dates back to the time of the second world war when Ukrainian fascists cooperated with Nazi Germany and fought against the Soviet Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear that the aim of the military operation in Ukraine was to "denazify and demilitarize" Ukraine and make it into a neutral country.

It is no secret that the United States has been providing military equipment and training to the Azov battalion, an extremist, far-right within the Ukrainian armed forces for a long time.

American journalist and author Max Blumenthal wrote an article titled "The US is arming and assisting neo-Nazis in Ukraine, while Congress debates prohibition."

In his article which was published on 18 January 2018 by the Toronto-based, non-profit news organization, The Real News Network, Blumenthal provides a thorough examination of Nazism in Ukraine and the involvement of the United States.

In his article, Blumenthal wrote:

"American weapons in Ukraine are flowing directly to the extremists of Azov. And once again, in its single-minded determination to turn up the heat on Russia, Washington seems willing to ignore the unsettling political orientations of its front line proxies.

In recent months, a wide spectrum of observers of the Ukrainian civil war have documented the transfer of heavy weapons made in the USA to the Azov Battalion, and right under the nose of the US State Department."

United States Senator Lindsey Graham who recently called for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukrainian troops with senator John McCain back in December 2016. During their visit, Lindsey Graham said "Your fight is our fight. 2017 will be the year of offense. All of us will go back to Washington and we will push the case against Russia. Enough of … Russian aggression. It is time for them to pay a heavier price".

The language Graham uses is antagonistic and dangerous.

Although the US Congress has not declared it, the United States government is de facto at war with Russia. By arming and training Ukrainian neo-Nazis the US government is waging a proxy war against Russia.

It is deplorable to see that the United States government has come so far and has forgotten American sacrifices in the fight to liberate Europe and the world from Nazism and fascism during World War II.

It is disturbing when American companies follow their government’s stance. Facebook changed its hate speech policies to allow posts that call for the "death to the Russian invader" while YouTube has gone so far as to remove RT as a channel.

With its foreign policies, the United States government is leading the United States down a very dark path that could eventually lead to its ostracization and branding as a pariah state.

What happened to the country of Martin Luther King Jr.?

The war in the Donbas

As mentioned earlier in this article, an armed conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine has been raging since 2014 with Russia constantly accusing Ukraine of targeting Russian-speaking Ukrainians and of committing atrocities in the Donbas region. The fighting in the Donbas region has claimed the lives of almost 14,000 people so far.

President Putin has said "The European and American press did not even notice this tragedy in Donetsk, as if nothing happened. Just like they have been hypocritically looking the other way over the past eight years as mothers buried their children in Donbas, as elderly people were killed. This is simply moral degradation, complete dehumanization."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov slammed the West for turning a blind eye to the Ukrainian regime’s war crimes against civilians in the east of the country.

Nevertheless, the West continues to doubt Russia’s claims as baseless and accuses Russia of using the genocide claim to justify the military intervention.

The European security order

"The world is dynamically evolving and is constantly being confronted with new challenges and threats. We just can't afford to carry around the burden of past misunderstandings, conflicts and mistakes. A burden that prevents us from solving current problems. We are convinced that we have to admit and correct all these mistakes. Our common and undisputed goal is to ensure the security of the continent without dividing lines and a unified space for equal cooperation and collective development in the interests of the prosperity of Europe and the entire world." – President Vladimir Putin

Having examined the causes of the Ukrainian conflict, the fundamental question becomes: how can the "European security order" that Schallenberg talks about be secured when European governments ignore Russia’s concerns regarding NATO’s eastward expansion? And how can the "European security order" be maintained when European governments remain passive in the face of the United States arming Ukrainian neo-Nazis to wage a proxy war against Russia?

Europe cannot afford to ignore Ukraine’s neo-Nazi problem. Fascism will doom Western civilization just as it doomed the Third Reich of Nazi Germany.

Criticism of Nehammer and Schallenberg

Strong criticism of Nehammer's stance on Austria’s neutrality came from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) which is known for its pro-Russian stance, the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) whose anti-fascist organization the Bund Sozialdemokratischer FreiheitskämpferInnen, Opfer des Faschismus und aktiver AntifaschistInnen honors on every anniversary the sacrifices of Russian soldiers who liberated Austria from Fascism, and the recently founded human rights party, the MFG who reminded the incumbent government that Austria is a neutral country and that Austria’s permanent neutrality is untouchable and not subject for debate. Following this criticism, Nehammer who is a member of the ruling People’s Party of Austria (ÖVP) has stated that Austria is a neutral country and declared that the debate about Austria’s neutrality is over. Yet, despite making this statement, Nehammer and Schallenberg continue to adopt an undiplomatic stance and language toward Russia with Nehammer recently saying that "Many ideas are now needed to further tighten the sanctions."

Russophobia, the Austrian mainstream media’s coverage, and the banning of RT and Sputnik by the EU

"The frenzied Russophobia of the West, apparently, will never reach the bottom. The expansion of NATO to our borders, the economic and information war unleashed against our country on all fronts, endless threats, and intimidation, and the fierce persecution of our citizens abroad. All this is the reason for the extreme aggravation of the international situation that the whole world is experiencing these days." - Dmitry Medvedev

The Austrian mainstream media’s coverage of the Ukrainian conflict is biased, to say the least, and reveals a lamentable decline in quality journalism in general as it fails to provide the reader with a balanced, and objective coverage of the crisis.

The mainstream media won’t report for example that recently former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich urged Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to stop the bloodshed at any price and to reach a peace deal with Russia. It won’t report that Russian troops are greeted as liberators by many Ukrainians and that Russian supplies are reaching the war-stricken. Russia is portrayed as the aggressor and the Ukrainian armed forces are depicted as winning against Russia and dealing the Russian military heavy losses. The mainstream media constantly shows pictures of shot Russian helicopters, and damaged tanks.

Nikki Fellner, a journalist who works for oe24, one of Austria’s most widely read newspapers, wrote an article that was very aggressive towards Russia. In his article titled "There will be no peace with Putin", Fellner described President Vladimir Putin as "a dictator" and "a war "criminal". Fellner wrote that "One becomes guilty if one continues to watch as Putin's army expels and kills hundreds of thousands." Fellner has gone so far as to call for a regime change in Russia and even called for a boycott of Russian institutions. Fellner failed to give the reader a background of the conflict and lashed at Russia with emotion. Fellner failed to examine the rise of fascism in Ukraine, the killings in eastern Ukraine that have been going on since 2014, and the problem of NATO’s eastward expansion.

EU citizens and people living in the EU have the right to choose their media sources and to form their opinions accordingly. The EU’s decision to ban RT and Sputnik deprives people of this right.

Russians living in Europe have become a target of Russophobia, and the Metropolitan Opera banned Russian soprano Anna Netrebko for not distancing herself from President Vladimir Putin.

The Russophobia in the West is frightening and reveals the extent of the corruption in Western politics and the mainstream media.

The Austrian public’s attitude

Austrians cherish their country’s permanent neutrality. Newspaper surveys show that the majority of Austrians are either in favor of Austria’s permanent neutrality or wish Austria to become even more neutral. Comments by Austrians on newspaper discussion forums and on social media are clearly in favor of maintaining Austria’s neutrality. According to an article by the Kronen Zeitung, eighty-one percent of Austrians are against Austria joining NATO while only twelve percent of the population are in favor of Austria joining NATO the majority of whom are voters of the Green party and the NEOs party.

Final thoughts

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - George Santayana

Austria’s legendary chancellor Bruno Kreisky (1911-1990) pursued a policy of active neutrality and used Austria’s permanent neutrality to defuse international conflicts.

Kreisky’s method of diplomacy has raised Austria’s status throughout the world as a broker of peace and a bridge between East and West, North and South. During Kreisky’s chancellorship, Austria catapulted itself from a post-war country into a global diplomatic hot spot and Vienna became the meeting point for the early rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks between the United States and the Soviet Union. Kreisky also used his position as Chancellor to act as a mediator to help defuse the conflict between Israelis and Arabs.

The undiplomatic language and calls for imposing strong sanctions against Russia by Nehammer and Schallenberg is a deviation from Kresikyan foreign policy and diplomacy as we know it in Austria. Nehammer and Schallenberg adopted a stance and language that damaged Austria’s special relationship with Russia and it will take another government to repair the damage.

Nehammer's language and calls to impose sanctions against Russia contradict his statement that "Europe's strongest weapon is peace and diplomacy."

In a recent interview with the Kronen Zeitung, Austrian historian and expert on Austrian-Russian relations Hannes Leidinger, said that "our neutrality has never been so endangered."

Austria’s strength lies in its permanent neutrality which it should leverage to defuse tensions and conflicts through dialogue and negotiation. The stance and language of the Nehammer government are threatening Austria's neutrality.

Austria could have played a key role in bringing Russia and Ukraine closer together which could have prevented the crisis. This could have been achieved with Austria working with Russia, and the European Union to stabilize, denazify, and build a neutral, and economically successful Ukraine.

The European Union, a project founded to promote peace, economic prosperity, and security in Europe has failed in preventing Ukraine from falling to fascism and US meddling. Instead of working with Russia and Ukraine to defuse the crisis, and participate with Russia in the denazifying and rebuilding of a neutral and economically successful Ukraine, the European Union is bowing to the will of US foreign policy and adopting an antagonistic stance towards Russia. The European Union has imposed brutal sanctions against Russia while the Western mainstream media machine is replete with anti-Russian propaganda, bias, and misinformation.

Although the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell has stated that the European bloc must do what it can to "avoid the escalation of war" and despite him saying that he was "ready to admit that we made a number of mistakes and missed the chance to get closer to Russia" he recently said that "We must continue to arm Ukraine. More weapons, this is what Ukrainians expect from us." Supplying arms to a country whose military has absorbed a neo-Nazi battalion is a very disturbing development and indicates that the EU similar to the United States is de facto at war with Russia via a proxy war.

Borrell's recent statement that "We want it to end as soon as possible, but not in any way." indicates that peace is not the EU's highest priority. Borrell should call for the EU to work actively towards achieving peace between Russia and Ukraine and stop the delivery of weapons to Ukraine. Delivering weapons to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict and cause more suffering.

The EU’s sanctions against Russia reveal its lamentable double standards. Why did the EU fail in the past to impose sanctions against the US for the crimes and illegal actions it committed in Vietnam, Iraq, Chile, and Afghanistan? Has the EU forgotten the murder, physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, and sodomy committed by US soldiers and the CIA against the detainees of Abu Ghraib prison? Why did the EU fail to impose sanctions against the US back then? Why did the EU fail to impose sanctions for the Mỹ Lai massacre when US soldiers murdered innocent unarmed south Vietnamese civilians?

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov nailed it correctly when he said that mending relations with the EU is possible but will only happen when the EU "sobers up from the American bourbon."

As a peace project, the EU should seek to defuse the crisis by diplomacy.

The Ukrainian people are victims of their own divisions, fascism, and the meddling of the United States in their affairs. Ukrainians deserve a bright future and a neutral, and economically successful Ukraine free from fascism, extremism, and US meddling.

Putin recently said that “We are seeing again and again that the Kyiv regime, for which its Western masters have set the task of creating an aggressive ‘anti-Russia’, is indifferent to the fate of the people of Ukraine themselves.”

If Zelensky really cares about Ukraine, Europe, and the rest of the world, he would not ask for NATO to create a no-fly zone when he knows perfectly well that this will lead to World War III.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave Zelensky good advice when he told him that "If I were you, I would think about the lives of my people and take the offer."

Nehammer and Schallenberg fail to realize that Russia has legitimate concerns regarding NATO’s intention to make Ukraine a member of the military alliance which is a flagrant breach of former US Secretary of State James Baker’s famous "not one inch eastward" assurance that NATO will not seek further expansion. Nehammer and Schallenberg fail to highlight the danger posed by fascism in Ukraine, and they fail to talk about the killings in eastern Ukraine that have been going on since 2014 and the failure of the European Union to work with Russia towards finding a solution to these problems.

Schallenberg recently made a very unfortunate revision of history when he said that "In 1938 we experienced what it was like to be left alone." Schallenberg was referring to the Anschluss or annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938 and compared it to Russia’s military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine. Schallenberg received strong criticism from commentators on Twitter for making this analogy. Russia sacrificed more than 26,000 of its men and women to liberate Austria from fascism. The sacrifices of these gallant men and women can and must never be forgotten.

Over 25 million of Russia’s sons and daughters gave their lives during World War II defending their country, Europe, and the rest of the world against the aggression of the Third Reich of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.

As a neutral country, Austria should adopt a diplomatic approach and work closely with Russia and the European Union to participate in the stabilization, denazification, and building of a neutral, and economically successful Ukraine.

The Author
Mohamed Elghusein

Born in Vienna, Dr. Mohamed Elghusein, J.D. read the law in England and the United States. He is the founder, publisher, and editor in chief of The New Jurist.