Wien/Moskau, 21. September 2012 Press release

Lopatka meets Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Titov in Moscow

Lopatka “Relations with Moscow are rooted in solid ground in all fields and are continuously expanded”

Vienna/Moscow, 21 September 2012 – State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka had working meetings with Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Titov, and with MPs of the Austrian-Russian Friendship Society chaired by Elmira Glubokovskaya in Moscow today.

During his visit, Lopatka signed an agreement with Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs Grigory Petrovic Ivliev on the return of the Esterhazy library. “This agreement is proof of the great mutual trust that exists between Moscow and Vienna”, the State Secretary said.

“Economic cooperation between Austria and Russia has great potential. The current trade volume and the value of Austrian investment in Russia is about 6 billion euros per year, which makes Russia one of the top 10 export markets for Austrian businesses. We are striving to achieve a continuous improvement of investment conditions in Russia with the needs of our business people and companies in mind.

“Tourism, too, is enjoying growth rates. 400,000 Russian tourists visited Austria in 2011, i.e. 30% more than in 2010. Russian tourists account for the highest growth rate among tourists spending their holidays in Austria ranked by country of origin. Thanks to the influx of Russian winter holidaymakers, the “January low” is now a thing of the past in Austria”, Lopatka said.

Agreements on the cooperation between the police forces of the two countries and on disaster relief are currently being negotiated with the Russian Federation.

The work of the Austro-Russian Commission of Historians is contributing much to the understanding of the history our two countries share. “A great deal of work has already been completed”, Lopatka stated. The data of 130,000 Austrian PoWs in Russia and the data of 60,000 Soviet soldiers who died during World War II in Austria have already been documented. “It is also important to me to offer support to war children who are searching for information on their fathers and family members in Russia. I have applied personally to Wladimir Titov for access to the Russian archives“, the State Secretary said.

Russia is a global actor in matters of security. The situation in the common neighbourhood is therefore also an issue: the elections in Belarus and Ukraine, the Western Balkans and the “frozen conflicts” as well as current crises in Syria or the Iran. “Furthermore Austria is one of the few countries engaged in bilateral dialogue on human rights with Russia”, State Secretary Lopatka concluded.

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