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Austrian Neutrality amid Russia’s War on Ukraine

In: Austrian Review of International and European Law Online
Author:
Ralph Janik Researcher and Lecturer, Sigmund Freud Privatuniversität Vienna

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Austria’s status as a ‘permanently neutral’ country has changed significantly ever since it joined the European Union back in 1995. More than ever, the country is still maneuvering between solidarity within the EU and participating in its common foreign policy and upholding a long-standing tradition of remaining uninvolved in foreign wars. Yet, Russia’s attack on Ukraine shows that there are certain inconsistencies in this search for striking a balance: While the Austrian government has condemned the invasion, implemented EU sanctions, and allowed the transport of weapons through its territory, it refrained from providing arms or military training to the Ukrainian military. In so doing, it is not always clear whether these actions (or omissions) are justified with legal or political arguments. The present article will try to fill this gap.

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