Vienna, 14 November 2012 Press release

Lopatka: “Austria is a committed partner in the security field”

New security threats and regional conflicts discussed with Russian National Security Advisor

Vienna, 14 November 2012 – “Austria is and will remain a committed and reliable partner for maintaining peace and security in the world”, Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said following talks with Russian National Security Advisor Nikolai Patruschev. “A small country is also capable of making decisive contributions to international crisis management, as Austria has clearly demonstrated over many decades”, Lopatka said.

The State Secretary recalled the participation of over 90,000 Austrian soldiers and police officers in peace missions of the UN, the EU and in the scope of the NATO Partnership for Peace since 1960. “The focus regions of our missions abroad are the Western Balkans with a strong participation in the EUFOR Althea operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and with KFOR in Kosovo, but we are also active in the Middle East, where Austria is represented with contingents both at the Golan Heights (UNDOF) and in Lebanon (UNIFIL). These strategic focal points are in line with the geographical priorities of our foreign policy and clearly show how seriously we take our responsibility for peace and stability in our neighbourhood”, the State Secretary said. Within the scope of the UN, Austria is consistently among the top third providers of troops for peace missions, and in EU operations Austria provides around 15% of the military forces deployed. Russia is also considering participation as a partner in a number of EU operations.

The talks also covered the issue of new security threats. “We are in full agreement that the change in the threat scenario will bring new challenges and tasks for security policy. We will need efficient international cooperation in order to counter terrorism, trafficking in human beings and drugs, cross border organised crime and cyber security threats successfully against. Vienna offers a competence centre for dealing effectively with the security issues of the 21st century through the organisations based in the city, such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) or the newly established International Anti-Corruption Academy”, Lopatka said, and he praised the strong Russian commitment for the development of the Anti-Corruption Academy.

In Eastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus, Russia is playing a significant role in the search for solutions to the frozen conflicts, Lopatka said. “Russia possesses both the influence and the possibilities for achieving progress in the talks centred on Transnistria, Nagorno-Karabakh and Georgia. The new dynamism that has been achieved this year in the Transnistria question must not be interrupted”, the State Secretary concluded.

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