Waldner: “Russia is an important partner of Austria and a strategic neighbour of the EU”
Austrian State Secretary meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Titov
Vienna, 7 May 2012 – State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner received the Vice Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Titov, for an in-depth working meeting today. “Austria and Russia enjoy a tight network of contacts and highly intensive political, economic and cultural exchanges. We also support a further intensification of relations between the EU and Moscow to gain Russia as a partner in our task of mastering regional and global challenges”, Waldner said. According to Waldner, the most recent talks about the issue of Transnistria in Vienna were a step into the right direction. “A positive involvement of Russia in this process could have a major impact – for the people on site, but also on stability and peace in the European neighbourhood”, the State Secretary said.
A bilateral trade volume of 6 billion euros makes Russia one of the ten most important business partners of Austria. Cooperation is particularly close in the energy sector where Austria offers a hub for gas supplies to Western Europe with the Baumgarten gas distribution node.
The Austrian season of culture in Russia planned for 2013/2014 will include an extensive presentation of the best in Austrian art. “We intend to provide impetus to the cultural dialogue between Austria and Russia with some major projects, such as guest performances of the Austrian State Opera, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Burgtheater, as well as an exhibition of the Albertina arts museum. And we hope that this impact will trigger a further deepening of our close bilateral relations”, Waldner said.
Also on the agenda of the working meeting were international issues such as the developments in the Western Balkans, in Iran and Syria. State Secretary Waldner informed Deputy Foreign Minister Titov about the areas that are in the focus of Austria’s work on the UN Human Rights Council, like the initiative on the protection of journalists, and he underlined how important it is to engage in an open dialogue about human rights with the civil society.
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