Austria's Karl von Habsburg Calls for an End to Vladimir Putin's Regime

PeopleOther ♦ Published: January 11, 2023; 16:21 ♦ (Vindobona)

The last Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, Karl von Habsburg, has strongly condemned the Russian regime and its President Vladimir Putin since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. In his "Speech on the Future of Europe," the president of the Pan-European Movement Austria advocates greater military support for Ukraine.

According to the president of Pan-European, Karl von Habsburg, Ukraine needs more military support. / Picture: © Matthias Dolenc

In his speech, the President of the Pan-European Movement Austria referred to the geopolitical approach of European unification in the Pan-European idea, and from this, he formulated the demand for a European foreign and security policy. This includes an EU foreign minister at the top, who is accountable to the European Parliament. A demand, by the way, that meets all the requirements of subsidiarity.

One focus of the speech was the Russian war of annihilation against Ukraine, as well as China's geopolitical ambitions. Europe's weakness and necessary consequences for European policy formed the second pillar of this speech.

Europe began to collect the peace dividend after the fall of the Iron Curtain and reduced military capacity but also capacity to maintain infrastructure in times of crisis. The wake-up calls for a European security policy through the wars of Slobodan Milosevic were heard just as little as the wake-up calls through the wars of Vladimir Putin. Europe had shown itself to be rich and weak.

The goal of Europe's support for Ukraine, he said, must be Russia's military defeat. "With the war crimes committed so far, Putin has lost any right to save face. He belongs before a war crimes tribunal, along with his accomplices, and there must be regime change in Moscow and Minsk.

Karl von Habsburg affirmed that "Russia must pay reparations. Therefore, the West should also immediately confiscate the approximately $300 billion in currency reserves held by the Russian Central Bank in seven Western central banks. The money will be necessary for the reconstruction of Ukraine. It would be downright negligent not to do so."

Karl von Habsburg expects Russia's war against Ukraine to last well into 2023 or even further. "We must also factor into our scenarios a renewed invasion via Belarus toward Kyiv, and with it, new refugee flows into EU countries. But no matter how long the war lasts, Russia will have forfeited its status as a world power afterward. China, Russia's old rival in Asia, will benefit. Russia is already considered only a junior partner by the Chinese leadership. China has long since overtaken Russia, and is nowadays just as much one of the great threats to that system of freedom, democracy, rule of law, and free economy for which the West generally stands."

Europe, the EU, must meet these challenges with a genuine European foreign and security policy, he said. "European security policy also means bringing our military capabilities back to a level where we can defend ourselves. ... to be able to defend ourselves, we need the appropriate equipment, and we also need a European defense industry that is capable of delivering. And it needs defense budgets that are more than just window dressing, as well as much more intensive European cooperation." For the President of the Pan-European Movement Austria, joint protection of external borders is also part of a European security policy.