EU Council President in Vienna: "Situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border worrisome"

PeoplePoliticians ♦ Published: January 27, 2022; 18:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

European Council President Charles Michel was in Vienna to discuss the tense situation at Ukraine's border and other pressing issues with Chancellor Nehammer. Read about their discussion.

European Council President Charles Michel (right) meeting with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer (left) in Vienna. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

European Council President Charles Michel recently met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer in Vienna for the first time since he became Chancellor.

The main topics of their working talks were the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, migration and the COVID-19 pandemic.


The European Council President called the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border “worrisome.”

He said that the European Union must also be able to play a role here.

Michel emphasized the importance of diplomacy but said that if diplomacy should fail, then the EU must make a united decision.

“The consequences would be enormous if a military escalation were to occur,” said the EU Council President, adding that there should be “serious sanctions” for Russia if they invade.

Chancellor Nehammer stressed that the news from the region “makes us more than concerned about Russian military capabilities at the border.”

The Austrian head of government explained that, on the one hand, it must be made clear to the Russian Federation that there is a willingness to engage in dialogue, but at the same time, the European Union can never have politics in connection with violence.

“We don't accept that. And if the Russian Federation decides to do so, it must also expect that Europe will react to it in a clear, resolute language of sanctions,” said Nehammer.

EU-Africa Summit

Chancellor Nehammer expressly welcomed the EU-Africa summit planned for February, saying, “If we want to find sustainable solutions to stem illegal migration on the one hand and to create prospects for people from the African continent on the other, it is necessary to talk directly with African state representatives.”

The chancellor explained that Austria welcomes the initiative and considers it important not to stand still but to develop and continue precisely these forms of dialogue, “because from our point of view this is the basis for actually being able to fight against illegal migration efficiently in the future.”


Nehammer noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is still one of the biggest challenges facing Europe.

He thanked Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for helping the EU through the pandemic, especially with regards to vaccinating the population.

Austrian Federal Chancellery