Myanmar President Thein Sein called on the European Union (EU) to lift its sanctions against his country following his talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna on March 4.

Austria is the third leg of Thein Sein’s first European visit as president, after Norway and Finland. The President’s 10-day trip will include Brussels, for talks with EU officials, and Italy.

At the press briefing on his talks with the Austrian host, Thein Sein said the 20-year long economic sanctions have caused Myanmar ’s shortage of capital and modern technologies.

Praising the reforms implemented so far by Myanmar, Austrian President Fischer also urged Myanmar to stick to the democratic process, saying elections in 2015 will decide the future of the country.

In April 2012, the EU suspended a series of sanctions against Myanmar, except for an arms embargo.

The United States has also dismantled many of its key trade and investment sanctions, while the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have stepped up assistance for the Southeast Asian country.-VNA