Austria has not yet sent funds for de-mining in Ukraine
In May, the federal government promised to allocate two million euros to an aid organization but ruled out the involvement of the armed forces in demining operations.
The Austrian Armed Forces could not support Ukraine in demining operations, stated Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (both Austrian People’s Party) .
This was justified on the grounds of neutrality. Instead, the federal government announced that it would provide two million euros in aid from the Foreign Ministry’s Foreign Disaster Fund (AKF).
“Not one euro sent”
This amount is supposed to go to the International Trust Fund (ITF) – an international aid organization set up by the Slovenian government that specializes in demining. But the money has not arrived so far, as Ö1 reports. Neos MP Helmut Brandstätter asked the ITF about it. To date, “not a single euro has flowed”, and he now accuses the government of “empty promises”. Yet the demining is urgently needed if Ukrainians want to return home. Two million euros is not much, but at least it is a political sign.
Foreign Ministry: Contract still missing
The Foreign Ministry of Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) replied to Ö1 that it needed a contract for a disbursement from the AKF, which had not yet been concluded. It had received proposals for a concrete project from the ITF only on July 4. These would now be examined and approved by the Austrian Development Agency, which is responsible for processing. According to the Foreign Ministry, a transfer can be expected in mid-August. (muz, 27.7.2023)
Source – Der standard – translated from the German