Austrian politician Herbert Kickl said his country should not have allowed the Ukrainian president to speak last year without giving Russia the same opportunity.
The head of the opposition Austrian Freedom Party, Herbert Kickl, said that Austrian lawmakers violated the principle of neutrality by allowing Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to address parliament last March, while failing to listen to the Russian side of the conflict.
Zelensky addressed Austrian lawmakers via video link on March 30 last year, thanking Vienna for its political and humanitarian support. Freedom Party representatives walked out during the speech, leaving behind signs on their seats that read: “A place of neutrality” And “A place of peace.“
In an interview with Austrian national radio ORF on Wednesday, Kickl revealed that he confronted the Speaker of Parliament, insisting that “Under no circumstances should the Austrian National Assembly be the theater of war parties.The right-wing politician added:There are enough international organizations that provide opportunities to emerge, and these organizations are eagerly used by Ukraine.“
According to the Freedom Party leader, if one party is invited to address lawmakers, “So you should actually invite the other party, and also listen to the other party.“Don't do that,” Kickl stressed.This violates the principle of neutrality.“
The politician denied allegations that he was a spokesman for “Russian propagandaStressing that his party has repeatedly condemned the Russian military operation against Ukraine. But he added that he was equally critical of Kiev and Moscow.
According to Kickl, Austria should strive to “Developing understanding between the two sides,This does not necessarily mean supporting the agenda of either of them. The opposition leader stressed that he wants more neutrality in Europe, as this is the “status quo.”A model for the future.“
Kickl also warned that if countries continue to pursue “MassIn politics, the continent could witness a repeat of World War I.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer made clear in mid-December that while his government was generally in favor of giving Ukraine and Moldova a path to join the EU, there should not be a “Fast track procedure“For full membership.
A month earlier, the chief diplomat in Vienna, Alexander Schallenberg, said that the West “We should not be afraid to sit down with the Russians.He warned against living inEcho chambers in foreign policy“and potential”Life threatening” consequences.
Amid faltering Western support, President Zelensky has increasingly put pressure on his foreign backers for more military and financial aid. At times, the Ukrainian leader has chided his benefactors for their supposed failure to do enough.
Commenting on the Ukrainian president’s visit to Washington, D.C., to request more aid last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Zelensky “He will beg again to his masters“For resources.
In October, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed that more and more Western politicians are getting “fed up“With Zelensky.