OMV CEO Warns Against More Russia Sanctions
Europe should avoid more sanctions against Russiaover its role in Ukraine and continue to pursue dialogue with Moscow, the chief executive of OMV , the longest-standing Western trade partner of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, said.
The Austrian energy group signed its first long-term supply contract with the Soviet Union in 1968 and is a major importer of Russian gas.
"None of us can estimate what it would mean if no gas came from Russia to Europe, and if we can't calculate the consequences we shouldn't threaten it," Gerhard Roiss told Austrian ORF radio in an interview aired on Saturday.
Two days after an international deal in Geneva to try to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists have vowed not to end an occupation of public buildings. Washington has threatened further sanctions if the stalemate continues.
The United States and the European Union have so far imposed only targeted sanctions against a list of Russian and Ukrainian individuals and firms in retaliation for Moscow's seizure and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last month.
"It's important that there's a European dialogue with Russia on this subject."
Another Austrian industrial heavyweight, steelmaker Voestalpine's CEO Wolfgang Eder, said in an interview published on Friday Europe should consider allowing fracking for shale gas in sparely populated areas.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Janet Lawrence)