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Russian lawmaker sees strive for change in Austria, Serbia election results

April 25, 2016, 11:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to Konstantin Kosachev, new political forces that support a reformed Europe are coming to power

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Polling station in Belgrade, Serbia

Polling station in Belgrade, Serbia

© AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic

MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. The results of elections in Austria and Serbia prove that new political forces that support a reformed Europe are coming to power, chairman Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday.

In the first round of presidential elections in Austria, Norbert Hofer from the Freedom Party collected 36% of votes followed by Alexander Van der Bellen from the Greens who got 20% In Serbia’s parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Aleksandr Vucic’s Progressive Party won 50% of the votes.

The winners at yesterday’s elections in Serbia and Austria have very different agendas, Kosachev wrote on his Facebook page. "On the contrary, they are pro-EU in Serbia and Eurosceptics in Austria," he added noting that "this is just how it looks." "In both cases, political forces that support a new, reformed Europe, are coming to power," he said.

Kosachev added that winners of both Austrian and Serbian elections are striving for creating a Europe "where there is no arrogant notion of exceptionalism of one part and claims of this part, that assigned the name of ‘Europe’ to itself, that they hold an ultimate truth, where political will is above the absolute power of European officials, where there is no division into friends and foes, into those who have already ‘entered’ and those who have not or are not going to do this."

Talking about relations with Russia, Kosachev said Austria’s Freedom Party has "excessively radical views" which are most likely unsuitable for "systemic cooperation" with Russia. "On the contrary, the coalition that won the elections in Serbia includes our two long-term partners - Progressive Party and People’s Party - that are firmly against the country’s membership in NATO and for every possible rapprochement with Russia," he added.

"Europe will have to change in one way or another, and change very seriously," Kosachev noted. Despite the fall of the Berlin Wall, division line in Europe still remain, and "trans-Atlantic (relations) only additionally cements them," he added. "Maybe Austrians and Serbians will become a new sobering signal in this sense, each in their own way. We are expecting pluralism of opinions in the European Union. We are expecting changes in Europe," he concluded.

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