VIENNA, June 3. /TASS/. Austria is lucky to have a solid foundation for a dialogue with Moscow and plans to use it to overcome tensions in relations of Russia and the EU, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman ahead of the Russian president’s visit to Vienna.
"The last few years were full of difficulties amid the Ukrainian crisis and tensions in the relations between the European Union and Russia, but one fact remains undisputed: all these decades Vienna and Moscow always had a well-established communication channel, the interaction was open, the dialogue was successful, which I personally find important," Kurz said.
"Austria is located in the heart of Europe, on the border between East and West. Our country has always been a bridge in both geographical and political terms, and would like to remain it in the future. In this respect I think we are lucky to have such a solid foundation for a dialogue with Russia. We want to use it to overcome hostilities that are growing in our continent, because we are sincerely interested in the interaction of the European Union and Russia," he said.
The Kremlin press service said Russian President Vladimir Putin would pay a working visit to Austria on June 5. The program includes talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kutz. The parties are expected to discuss the current state of affairs and prospects for Russian-Austrian relations in various areas and to exchange views on key global issues. Putin is expected to meet with businessmen from both countries to discuss matters on mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation with a focus on the 50th anniversary of the launch of a large-scale energy project - supplies of natural gas from the former Soviet Union to Europe, the Kremlin said.