VIENNA, June 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin who is paying a working visit to Austria has laid a wreath at the monument in memory of Soviet soldiers who died while liberating Vienna from the Nazis. The ceremony on Schwarzenbergplatz square was attended by Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and representatives of the Austrian Armed Forces.
This is Putin’s first foreign trip since his presidential inauguration on May 7. Earlier in the day, the Russian head of state held talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The visit is timed for the 50th anniversary of the export of Soviet gas to Austria (the first long-term contract was signed on June 1, 1968, and the gas flow started in September). Austria was the first West European country to have signed a long-term contract with the Soviet Union. Currently it imports from Russia about 60% of natural gas it needs.