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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 and will remain in force until provisions of the Minsk peace agreement of 2015 have been implemented. 

In 2021, restrictive measures were adopted against 4 high-ranking officials of the interior and the justice system in connection with the conviction and imprisonment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Sanctions have been imposed against Belarus in the wake of 2020 presidential elections and were extended in June 2021 after the forced landing of a Ryanair flight and arrest of opposition activist Roman Protasevich.

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

EU imposes sanctions on Belarusian economy

Austria's relations with the region

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

Above all, the Russian Federation constitutes an important marketplace for Austria's economy, with exports amounting to some 2.1 billion Euros (2020). Fossil fuels (natural gas and crude oil) account for 76 percent of imports from the Russian Federation. According to data by Statistik Austria, exports shrank by 10.3 percent and imports by 21.4 percent. Some 1.200 Austrian companies do business with Russia, and 650 of them have set up in the Russian Federation. Austrian investments amounted to 7.1 billion Euros. 2020 saw a decline by 35 percent to 4.6 billion Euros. By comparison, Russian companies are among top investors in Austria with 24.6 billion Euros total investment per end 2019, according to OeNB data.

Ukraine remains Austria's second most important trading partner in the region, with exports reaching 529.1 million Euros (2020) and imports amounting to 829.3 million Euros (2020) with a slight decrease in exports by 7.5 percent and slight growth in imports by 4.9 percent.

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


Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Internationalisation Initiative: