Roman Haider




Haider is a trained business consultant and a member of the radical right-wing populist FPÖ, which is known for its openly pro-Kremlin stances. The FPÖ signed a cooperation and coordination agreement with the ruling “United Russia” party in 2016.

Between 2008 and 2019, Haider was a member of the Austrian parliament and was not particularly known for any pro-Kremlin comments as he mainly focused on domestic issues. One noticeable action, however, was Haider’s criticism of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU in his written inquiry addressed to the the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, in which he called the sanctions “absurd” and argued that they hurt the Austrian economy.

On 16 May 2019, the leader of the Austrian centrist liberal NEOS party Beate Meinl-Reisinger submitted in the parliament an urgent request regarding “Putin's friends in the FPÖ threatening our liberal democratic order in Europe”. Haider replied to this request by dismissing the allegations, arguing that the FPÖ cooperated with all patriotic parties and had contacts not only in Russia but also in the US. In the same reply, Haider criticised opposition to the Nord Stream 2 project in the EU.

However, at times, Haider’s approach towards Russia is more nuanced. For example, he abstained (in line with the entire Identity and Democracy Group) in the vote on the EP resolution on the “recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events on 13 January 1991 in Vilnius” – a resolution that was not in the interests of Putin’s Russia. He explained his abstention by writing that, on the one hand, Russia must respect the freedom of justice in Lithuania and its judges and law enforcement, but, on the other hand, it was important not to deepen political divides between the EU and Russia. Furthermore, he voted for the EP resolution on the situation of the Uyghur in China, which was critical of Russia’s strategic partner. Haider explained his decision in writing (his statement was identical to that of Harald Vilimsky on the same issue), saying that he supported the resolution because it strongly condemned the situation of the Uyghurs and other minorities, and disregard for human rights in China.


List of non-critical votes

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