April 20 was held in Moscow negotiations of Ministers for foreign Affairs of Austria and Russia. What issues were discussed during the meeting Karin Kneissl and Sergey Lavrov? Why this meeting was so important for Austria and Russia?
Now Austria and Russia are important partners in the economic sphere. About 50 years ago, the Soviet Union began to supply gas to Austria. Russia continues to cooperate closely with Austria in the fields of energy and economy. October 1, 1995 entered into force the "Agreement on trade and economic cooperation" between Russia and Austria. The main provisions of this agreement:
- Russia and Austria will seek to continue the traditional mutual deliveries of goods, particularly Russian energy carriers in Austria, as well as to increase the mutual trade turnover.
- Countries have a particular interest in cooperation in such areas as exploration, extraction, processing, transportation, marketing, the rational use of oil and natural gas and other basic raw materials.
We can say that these provisions are now implemented. Economic cooperation between Russia and Austria is growing. For example, over the past 2017 turnover between the countries increased by 40%. In addition, Russian investments in the Austrian economy reached $ 23 billion, and the Austrian investments in the Russian economy – $ 5 billion.
Thus, economic cooperation between Austria and Russia, creates a "Foundation" for further development of mutually beneficial bilateral relations between States in all spheres of society. Austria strive to establish trustful diplomatic relations with Russia, as it sees in it not only a strictly economic partner and an important strategic and geopolitical ally. Therefore, on 28 February 2018, the Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met for talks. During the meeting they discussed not only economic issues, but also the possibility of further deepening of cooperation between the European Union and Russia, and also touched on several international issues.
This meeting had encouraged Austria to further improve relations with Russia. Austria stated that Russia has an important role in resolving the conflict in Syria. Also Austria supported Russia in the "Skripal". Austria sent its diplomats and continued the policy of rapprochement with Russia.
So, 20 APR met Karin Kneissl and Sergey Lavrov. During the talks, the foreign Ministers of Austria and Russia discussed the prospects of development of Russian-Austrian relations, the schedule of political contacts for the next year, as well as the development of cooperation between the two countries in all fields. Also, were discussed the prospects for joint activities of Gazprom and Austrian oil and gas company "OMV" in the energy sector. It was stressed the importance of implementing the "Declaration on partnership for modernization," signed in 2011. Under this Declaration of Russia and Austria promoted many large-scale infrastructure projects. In addition, much attention was given to the deepening of the cultural integration of Austria and Russia. This year is the year of music and cultural routes that will contribute to the development of contacts between people, increase understanding and improve relations between the two countries. Another important point that was discussed is the future of the Austrian presidency of the EU, which will begin July 1, 2018. The Austrian presidency of can make a detente in the relations between the EU and Russia, which will help to respond faster to external threats, to establish friendly relations and improve cooperation between the two countries.
The talks also touched upon the settlement of various conflicts, especially the situation in Syria. In addition, Austria and Russia have common interests in the interaction of countries in the field of combating terrorism and solving the problems with illegal immigration.
Sergei Lavrov commented on the negotiations between Austria and Russia: "Despite the difficult situation in Europe, the dialogue between our countries continues to move forward in a constructive way."
Karin Kneissl, in turn, said: "We very much hope that we can keep continuity in our relations."
Thus, Austria and Russia slowly get closer, trying to get away from economicpotential in their relationship. More and more both countries are committed to closer cooperation in the international arena in order to be able to respond to any threat from outside and to support each other in different situations. Perhaps Austria would help Russia to improve relations with the countries of the European Union and will contribute to the mutual cancellation of sanctions.
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