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Bilateral economic relations with Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The region Eastern Europe and Central Asia comprises the Russian Federation (RF), the six Eastern Partnership states Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, and the five Central Asian states Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.  EU Association and Free Trade Agreements are in force with three of these states - Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.  Five states belong to the Eurasian Economic Union EEU - the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and the Kyrgyz Republic.

In 2014, the EU imposed restrictive measures vis-a-vis the Russian Federation in response to the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea and support for pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine. These measures comprise economic sanctions. 

Since 25 February, 2022, several packages of restrictive measures have been imposed in reaction to the illegal recognition of the two Eastern Ukrainian self-professed “republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk and the subsequent war of aggression of Russia against Ukraine. They comprise, inter alia, individual restrictive measures (asset freezes and travel restrictions) against a number of people and entities as well as extensive economic and finance sanctions.

Sanctions have been imposed against Belarus in the wake of 2020 presidential elections and have since been expanded because of Belarus’ role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Current information by the European Union is available at:

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime: EU sanctions four people responsible for serious human rights violations in Russia

Restrictive measures following the 2020 Belarus presidential elections

 

Austria's relations with the region

In economic terms, most important countries of the region for Austria are the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

Before the military attack on Ukraine, the Russian Federation constituted an important marketplace for Austria's economy, with exports amounting to nearly 2 billion Euros (2021). According to preliminary data for 2021 by Statistik Austria, exports shrank by -5.7 percent, while imports grew by +115 percent - mainly because of soaring energy prices. Fossil fuels (natural gas and crude oil) account for 84 percent of imports from the Russian Federation.  Some 600 Austrian companies are present in the Russian Federation. Austrian investments amounted to 4.8 billion Euros. In return, Russian companies are among top investors in Austria with 23.5 billion Euros total investment per end 2021, according to Austrian National Bank (OeNB) data.

Ukraine was Austria's second most important trading partner in the region, with exports reaching 621.5 million Euros (2021) and imports amounting to 1.05 billion Euros (2021) with an increase in exports by +17.5 percent and a growth in imports by+ 26.5 percent. Due to the war in Ukraine, a massive impact on bilateral trade is expected.

In Central Asia, Kazakhstan is Austria's most important trading partner and top supplier of crude oil.

Contact

Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Internationalisation Initiative: wirtschaftbeziehungen-osteuropa-zentralasien@bmdw.gv.at