Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Ihor Zhovkva held a video conference with Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution at the Federal Chancellery of Austria Karoline Edtstadler.
Ihor Zhovkva thanked Austria for the warm welcome of about 50,000 Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes, and praised the initiative of the Federal Chancellery to double the funds raised through the charity event "Neighbor in Need."
During the conversation, the parties discussed the need for the European Union to strengthen sanctions on Russia.
"We count on Austria's support for the soonest possible approval of the sixth sanctions package, which should definitely include an oil embargo and disconnection of all Russian banks from the SWIFT system. It is necessary to put an end to the financing of Russia's aggression through the purchase of Russian energy resources," Ihor Zhovkva stressed.
Austria's clear position on maintaining European unity on the refusal to pay for gas supplies with Russian rubles was noted.
The interlocutors paid special attention to Ukraine's priorities in the field of European integration. The Deputy Head of the Office of the President briefed Karoline Edtstadler on the latest achievements in this area. Ihor Zhovkva expressed disappointment with the recent statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria Alexander Schallenberg, which do not contribute to the achievement of our country's main goals of European integration. Ihor Zhovkva is convinced that the expected positive recommendation by the European Commission based on the results of the review of Ukraine's answers to the questionnaire will allow EU member states to support Ukraine's acquisition of EU candidate status in June this year.
The Deputy Head of the Office of the President called on the Austrian side to support the European Commission's proposal to abolish customs tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian industrial and agricultural products.
Also expectations were expressed that an agreement between Ukraine and the EU on the liberalization of road transport would be signed as soon as possible.