On April 4, an Austrian legislator called for an end to European sanctions against Russia and for the creation of a new free trade zone between Europe and the Eurasian power.
In an interview Austrian MP Christoph Leitl conducted on Monday, the outspoken proponent of economic sanctions stated that after two years, sanctions imposed upon Russia have not been fruitful, and have in fact harmed European businesses far more than they have affected the Russian economy. And in addition, the MP conceded that the Eurasian power has been instrumental in bringing about peace agreements in the geo-political realms of Iran and Syria, which negates the underlying premise of Russian aggression which was the basis for implementing sanctions to begin with.
However, even more than simply seeking to end sanctions between Europe and Russia, Leitl is also proposing a new free trade zone between the European and Eurasian continents, following the formats being created in the East between China and many of their Asean trade partners.
Tensions between Russian and the West have deepened over the crisis in Ukraine. Since 2014, the US and Brussels have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian companies and individuals. In response, Russia introduced a food imports ban against a number of Western countries.
The politician also said that a joint trade zone should be created “across the entire continent, from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” The initiative would strengthen the positions of Europe among other global regions, he added.
Negotiations would take two-three years, and by that time sanctions may be lifted, Leitl said.
He also plans to share his ideas with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Next week, Leitl will join Austrian President Heinz Fischer during their visit to Moscow. – Sputnik News
The idea and concept for a Eurasian free trade zone actually originated with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin back in 2010 when he presented the idea to a German newspaper.
The world as a whole is quickly moving towards trade alliances, with those in the East being forged upon free trade and bi-lateral use of currencies, while in the West the United States is seeking more restrictive trade policies based on corporate dominion and dollar hegemony. And with Europe being undermined by trying to straddle the fence of both Western and Eastern economic policies, one political leader is calling for Europe to choose a side, and it is not the side of Washington, but that of Moscow.