The fourth of our series of events “Talk in the Tower” took place on Monday evening. Over one hundred guests gathered in “ThirtyFive” in the Vienna Twin Tower. The topic generated a lot of interest: “Russia and the West – the Ukraine conflict, sanctions policy and the consequences”.
The representatives from the business community on the podium – Karl Sevelda, CEO of Raiffeisen Bank International, which is engaged in both Russia and Ukraine, as well as IMMOFINANZ CEO Eduard Zehetner – addressed topics including the consequences of sanctions for the economy. At present, RBI does not yet feel any impact from the sanctions, although Sevelda did not exclude that there would be effects on the technology sector and on the capital market in the longer term. In general, the sanctions are an obstacle to the necessity of a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The banker also alluded to the lack of structural improvements in the past and the high dependence of the country on raw materials.
IMMOFINANZ CEO Eduard Zehetner agreed with the issue of the need to catch up in the industrial sector, as well as Europe’s ‘wasted chance’ to focus more strongly on the transfer of technology to Russia. In his view, the economic consequences of the sanctions in Russia manifest themselves differently in each sector and generally are felt more strongly in those areas where imported goods come into Russia and are sold. With respect to European policy, the IMMOFINANZ CEO stated that not talking to Russia, respectively Putin, is one of the biggest mistakes.
The two embassy officials - Wladimir Kruschkow, First Counselor of the embassy of the Russian Federation in Austria, and Olexander Scherba, the Ukraine ambassador to Austria, ensured that the political aspects – unsurprisingly, quite contentiously debated – were not overlooked, the moderation was once again in the hands of ‘Die Presse’ chief editor Rainer Nowak.
Guests sighted included: Ingo Bleier (Erste Group), Hanns Hügel und Christian Schneider (bpv Hügel), Michael Knap (IVA), Ingrid Krenn-Ditz (RBI), Robert Kremlicka (A.T. Kearney), Marieluise Krimmel (Deloitte), Ludwig Mertes (Prisma Kreditversicherung), Boris Nemsic (Delta Partners), Robert Ottel (voestalpine), Claus Raidl (OeNB), Wilhelm Rasinger (IVA), Thomas Streimelweger (red-stars.com) and many more.