Protest against transports of tanks through Austrian territory

Protest against transports of tanks through Austrian territory

Open letter to the Austrian Federal Chancellor and Secretaries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and the Interior

cc. In mid-June 2017, participating in an US-led international manoeuvre, Saber Guardian 17, 550 American and British tanks tracked through Austria to enter the field of operation in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. This course of events is contrary to the spirit of Austria‘s perpetual neutrality and therefore outrages many citizens of the country.
Open letter to the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria, the Federal Ministry for National Defence and Sport (BM-LVuS), the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMEIA) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI).

Dear Sir or Madam,

The Austrian non-party EU-Exit Committee has learned from numerous media reports (“Heute”, “Kurier”, “Standard”, “Kronenzeitung”, etc.) that large American and British NATO troop and tank transports through Austria are supposed to take place in the context of large international military exercises near the borders of Russia under the lead of the United States. According to the Austrian Federal Government, this is not a violation of Austria‘s perpetual neutrality as well as other international law and international legislation. Taking into account the applicable provisions of the Troop Residence Act (TrAufG i.d.F. BGLBl. I, No. 181, 2013), the Federal Government would legitimately permit foreign troops to pass through and reside in this way.
In this case, the non-party EU-Exit Committee notes a serious disregard of international obligations, in particular with regard to the Federal Constitutional Law stating a perpetual neutrality of Austria. In addition, the prevailing foreign policy direction of the Republic of Austria is diametrically opposed to the approval of marching through of the troops and tanks of US and British forces.
The ongoing political and military provocation against Russia by top representatives of Austrian politics (through accepting severe economic damage to Austria by so-called economic sanctions against Russia) continues the series of negative political and financial measures taken by the Austrian Government against the successor state of the signatory power Soviet Union and against our own Austrian interests.
Prof Dr Heinrich Wohlmeyer, a recognised specialist in resource economics and member of the EU-Exit Committee: “We as signatories are appalled that the Federal Government in the presence of increasing tensions is now actively facilitating provocative troop movements at the Russian borders, such adding fuel to the fire. This is not only inconsistent with the perpetual neutrality of Austria, but also carries the risk that we are no longer respected as neutral intermediaries in the eyes of the Russians, but rather as some kind of enemy state. We therefore appeal to revoke this authorisation without delay!”
Inge Rauscher, Chairperson of the EU-Exit Committee, adds: “Without the EU membership of Austria, such an approach to international law and unconstitutional action by the Federal Government would be unthinkable. But as the EU de facto equals a military alliance already – 24 of the 28 member states are at the same time NATO members – ’our’ politicians once again – want in pre-emptive obedience to EU-Brussels, the US and the NATO offense alliance – in contradiction to international treaty obligations play the role of an model pupil and thus put our credibility and, above all, our perpetual neutrality at risk!”
The non-party EU-Exit Committee thus protests in the strongest terms against this irresponsible approach of Austrian politics and calls for an immediate halt of the military actions of NATO members on the territory of Austria.

In the name of the unpartisan EU-Exit Committee:

Inge Rauscher, Helmut Schramm, Renate Zittmayr, Mag. Markus Lechner, Dr Franz-Joseph Plank, Prof Dr h.c. Heinrich Wohlmeyer

This open letter from 6 June 2017 was also sent as a press release via APA-OTS_20170606_OTS0008

(Translation Current Concerns)

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