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MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Moscow considers Austria’s program of chairmanship in the OSCE as pragmatic and is ready to take steps for its implementation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
"Today we want to listen to the Austrian colleagues who chair the OSCE this year," Lavrov said opening talks with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz, who is the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office.
"We studied the program of the chairmanship and we consider it to be pragmatic, we are ready to assist its successful implementation," he said.
Russia is interested in "continuing exchanging views on the issues of European cooperation and Russia-EU cooperation," Lavrov said. "We are closely cooperating in other international organizations - the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the OSCE."
Vienna wants European leaders to "trust each other more":
"Austria has traditionally acted as a bridge connecting the West and the East. We would like to help European countries abandon bloc thinking which has reemerged in Europe recently," Kurz noted. "We need more trust, we need to communicate with each other more to solve pressing issues."
According to Kurz, "it is important that we discuss the ways to settle conflicts, and pay more attention to the war against terror." "The OSCE can do much to create more safe conditions for the citizens of our countries," he added.
"Today, we plan to discuss matters concerning bilateral cooperation," the Austrian foreign minister said. "We need to ensure the support of all the participants of the Russian political life in order to solve various issues."
"Despite the difficult situation in Europe the dialogue proceeds on the basis of basic principles of mutual respect and benefits," the Russian foreign minister agrees with his Austrian counterpart.
Moscow is also ready to cooperate with new Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen:
"Our relations are friendly and meaningful, based on mutual respect," Lavrov said. "This was confirmed last year during Austrian President Heinz Fischer’s visit to Russia. We are interested in preserving continuity in our ties, so we are ready to develop relations with President Alexander Van der Bellen."