„Network meeting with the Austrian business community”. This is the invitation from the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. So far, so little unusual. If only the venue wasn’t unusual in times like these. Namely Moscow.
Specifically, the AForeign Economic Center Moscow “Welcome to a sporting Austrian Business Circle in Moscown, this time with cross-country skiing in the Odintsovo Cultural, Sports and Recreational Park. All Austrian companies with their own presence or business interest as well as their local partner companies are welcome! From 4 p.m. there is the possibility to borrow cross-country skiing equipment free of charge in the Fischer Store, from 5 p.m. trainers offer a practical introduction followed by free use of the illuminated trails through the snow-covered forest. From 7.30 p.m. the organizers will welcome all participants in or in front of the Café Bobro Poshalovat.” Participation is free of charge, the registration deadline is January 27th.
The event has now been deleted from the WKO website. In a statement to the KURIER, the chamber is contrite. “The WKÖ condemns the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Nevertheless, there are still Austrian companies that are active in Russia. Target group events are still being organized for them as part of member support. In the case of the current event, we apologize for the unfortunate choice of setting.” An information event should not have been linked to a sporting event. Therefore, this event will not take place in this form. The WKO leaves open on request what the event will look like now.
According to research by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), almost a year after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, two thirds of the companies from Austria that were previously present are still active in Russia. Of the 64 companies named, only three have left the Russian market since February 24, nine have announced an exit, and 42 want to stay. Domestic companies are therefore much more loyal to Russia than companies from other countries.