Austria rejects Russian gas embargo as red line

Austria rejects Russian gas embargo as red line

Austria remains opposed to the idea of a Russian gas embargo, as the move would be a red line for the republic, Austrian Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs Margarete Schrambock said in an interview with the Funke Media Group published on Friday.

"A gas embargo is a clear red line for Austria," Schrambock said, adding that you should not send any signals unless you are able to continue. "Neither we nor Germany will be able to resist," the minister said. "There is a clear `no’ from both Austria and Germany," as such an embargo would do more harm than good, Schrambock concluded.

She suggested the EU resort to fracking for natural gas production, saying that "there are environmentally friendly methods to extract shale gas". Besides, new partnerships will be needed in the mid-term, for example with Saudi Arabia, for solar and hydrogen energy projects, she said.

Earlier, CEO of the Austrian oil and gas company OMV Alfred Stern said in an interview with the Kurier newspaper, that EU countries were not ready for an embargo on Russian gas supplies and noted that this would have severe consequences for the European economy.

The European Commission earlier proposed measures to phase out Russian oil as part of a sixth round of sanctions against the country.