According to publications in Austrian media, Romania is blocking Austria’s participation in NATO meetings. Two Austrian army officers have been waiting in Brussels for weeks for NATO accreditation. Access has been delayed by Romania, which has asked for time to think, reports ORF public radio and television.
It is believed to be a backlash against the Austrian government’s veto, the daily Salzburger Nachrichten and Oberjosterreichische Nachrichten reported today.
The Romanian delegation to NATO did not wish to comment on the case to “Salzburger Nahrichten”. In a statement on the matter, a NATO spokesman praised Austria’s long-standing partnership and said: “We rely on Romania and Austria to resolve those bilateral issues that would affect the activities of Austrian officers on NATO posts.”
Austria’s defense ministry “has contacted the relevant NATO services through the military representation in Brussels,” army spokesman Michael Bauer told the newspaper. In addition, the ministry is in close contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Chancellery, BTA reports.
Austria is linked to the Alliance through the “Partnership for Peace” and NATO-led operations mandated by the UN Security Council. Austria’s participation in NATO meetings was already blocked by Turkey after 2016 for years. Then the reason was the Austrian veto on Ankara’s EU accession negotiations.
Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Călăcu recently stepped up pressure on Austria and demanded that it approve his country’s accession to Schengen by December. If Austria votes against Romania’s accession to Schengen at one of the next two meetings of the EU’s interior and justice ministers, he will challenge the decision at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the prime minister said, according to Romanian news agency Agerpress, ORF reports.