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Anti-Russian Sanctions Damaging Austrian Economy - German Newspaper

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On Friday, the EU made a decision to extend anti-Russian sanctions for another six months. The example of Austria, however, shows that the damage of the sanction policy for European countries is enormous, DWN wrote.

The latest figures of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) revealed that anti-Russian sanctions have had massive consequences for EU countries.

According to WIFO experts, not only the sanctions themselves, but also a general deterioration in bilateral trade relations between Russia and Austria have led to a sharp decrease in exports.

"From January to September 2015, Austrian exports to Russia cumulatively declined by 39.1% compared with the same period last year," a WIFO representative told DWN.

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Noone Knows Why, but EU Extends Anti-Russia Sanctions for Six Months
Other factors that lead to a sharp decline in Austrian exports are the economic recession in Russia as well as decreasing oil prices along with the devaluation of the ruble.

The sanctions mainly affected Austrian carmakers, engineering industry and food sector. According to WIFO, the decline in exports to Russia, both due to sanctions and the weak economic environment, can not be compensated by an increase in exports to other countries.

A WIFO study also stated that in the long rung the negative effect of the sanctions on the Austrian economy may increase.

"Sanctions always affect economies on both sides," a WIFO representative stated. "From an economic perspective, their withdrawal is always a welcome measure."

However, the EU's decision to renew the sanctions indicates that the political factors which led to their introduction are not yet resolved.

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