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Russian top diplomat, Austrian president discuss creation of Russian-Austrian public forum

March 14, 19:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

President Alexander Van der Bellen said he had discussed Ukraine and Venezuela with Sergei Lavrov and added it was a "good discussion"

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MOSCOW, March 14. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen discussed the creation of the Sochi Dialogue Russian-Austrian public forum and international issues in Vienna on Thursday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported.

"[The parties] discussed pressing bilateral issues, including the implementation of the agreement reached by the Russian and Austrian presidents on establishing the Sochi Dialogue public forum," the ministry said. "Some international issues were raised as well."

Meanwhile, the Austrian president tweeted that he had discussed Ukraine and Venezuela with Lavrov.

"Good discussion with Sergej [Sergey] Lavrov today about the relations between the EU & Russia and the situation in Ukraine. On this occasion I pleaded for a prisoner exchange including Oleh Senzow [Oleg Sentsov, convicted of terrorism in Russia - TASS]," he wrote. "The current situation in Venezuela was also a topic of today's meeting with Russia's Foreign Minister."

In June 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen agreed in Vienna to facilitate the execution of plans to establish the Sochi Dialogue forum, which should become a platform for informal communication between the two countries’ civil societies. On March 12, 2019, Lavrov and Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl signed a statement on establishing the forum.

Lavrov is currently in Vienna where he takes part in the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

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