Duda says Austria breaking EU unity with call to weaken Russian sanctions


Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has criticised the Austrian foreign minister for apparently calling for weakened sanctions on Moscow, saying he was "breaking up European unity".

According to media reports, Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian foreign minister, called for a loosening of sanctions on Moscow, during a meeting on Monday with his French counterpart, Catherine Colonna.

"I'm sorry to hear such voices, because when we take into account that this is said by a European politician from an EU member state, then undoubtedly I see it as breaking up European unity," Duda said at a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

"As you can see there are people who are ready to do business with no regard for the blood being spilt," the Polish president continued. "We believe the bloodshed should be stopped and those who are the perpetrators of the tragedy inflicted upon another nation should be stopped, and today this nation is Ukraine."

Poland has been a strong advocate of harsh sanctions on Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.