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European Journal

Austria: In the Valley of the Ruble Millionaires

Austria is popular with wealthy Russians. The small town of Kitzbühel is one of the places profiting from its rich guests. Now there are fears that sanctions will scare away the Russian elite.

Watch video 05:37

To Reinhold Mitterlehner, Austria's Economy Minister, it's long been clear that sanctions are an own goal for his country. In the high season in winter, charter flights from Russia land hourly at the small airports serving Salzburg and Innsbruck. Last year, 1.4 million Russians vacationed in Austria, most in popular ski resorts such as Kitzbühel. Many Russian millionaires and even billionaires have bought property here. In doing so, they're combining business with pleasure, because Austria offers favorable tax conditions to well-heeled private investors.