EU rebukes Austria envoy for ‘blood money’ Russian gas comment

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The European Union (EU) criticized its representative in Austria for making controversial comments about Austria’s gas supplies from Russia. The EU representative, Martin Selmayr, had accused Austria of paying “blood money” to Russia for gas but has now been ordered to return to Brussels.

Selmayr mentioned that Austria gets 55% of its gas from Russia but questioned why there were no protests in Vienna. He suggested that the money Austria pays for Russian gas could be seen as “blood money.”

Austria’s far-right opposition party called for Selmayr’s removal, and Austria’s Foreign Ministry summoned him for a meeting.

The EU spokesperson in Brussels emphasized that the EU as a whole is working to reduce gas imports from Russia, and Austria is part of this effort. Diplomacy, he noted, should be conducted with care and the right tone.

As a result of his comments, Selmayr has been called back to Brussels for discussions with EU authorities. Austria’s energy ministry acknowledged that the country still relies on Russian gas but is working to reduce its dependence, aiming to stop using Russian gas by 2027.

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