Russian coup sparks crisis reaction in Vienna

Russian coup sparks crisis reaction in Vienna |

An attempted coup d’etat on the Kremlin on Saturday triggered an emergency response in Vienna, where top politicians came together on Sunday for a crisis sit-down to tackle the consequences for both Austria and Vienna.

Russia’s “nuclear weapons must not fall into the wrong hands,” Chancellor Karl Nehammer said before the meeting. In response to the unrest, Austrian police will increase security at locations in Vienna, where various Russian-linked organisations are based.

There has yet to be a concrete threat, but the government would not allow “an internal Russian conflict to be fought out on Austrian soil”, Nehammer added.

Given the continued close ties of Austrian businesses to Russia, like the continued presence of the Raiffeisen group, the government was quick to warn citizens of travelling to the internally besieged country.

“Especially the city of Rostov and surrounding areas should be avoided,” the foreign ministry warned. Citizens were not seeking to be evacuated in droves, though. There had been “no worrying increase in enquiries to the Austrian embassy in Moscow,” the Chancellor said.

A meeting to discuss national security, which will include opposition parties, is slated to be hosted this week. Doing so was first requested by the new centre-left SPÖ chief Andreas Babler.

“The current situation in Russia is confusing and dangerous, the potential impact on the security of Austria and Europe is incalculable,” he said on Twitter.

(Nikolaus J. Kurmayer |

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