MOSCOW, August 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin attending Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl’s wedding is a political sign, and foreign media will have different reactions to it, expert of the International Valdai Discussion Club Andrey Bystritsky told TASS.
"We live in a political world, an internationally political one even, where everything is symbolic, and this is definitely a symbol. When the Austrian foreign minister invited a president of one of the world’s leading countries, it is, of course, a sign," Bystritsky noted. "A private sign, but still, it remains a sign."
According to the expert, it is hard to predict for sure what it would mean, however, some political issues will be discussed at the event.
"What it means - reconnaissance, an attempt to have an informal conversation, predict what would happen in the future, discuss certain details - we cannot say for sure. However, it is absolutely clear that the invitation to the wedding was dictated by a genuine sympathy or a desire to talk," the expert said. "Of course, some conversations will take place there. It holds special significance that the wedding takes place before the meeting [of Vladimir Putin] with Angela Merkel."
Bystritsky assumed that the situation in the world calls for new algorithms to resolve international issues, and European politicians may look to Russia for support in the context of certain complications in the relations with Washington.
"European politicians are actually rather reasonable people. They are also looking for a way to change the situation in the world, to create a new configuration. Overall, currently we are seeing a process that consists of different elements on very different levels. We can call this process a formation of a new world order, or at least a new relations system," he said.
Bystritsky noted that the world is very co-dependent right now, and the countries "look for the elements that will compile this global system of codependency and mutual regulation." "I think these elements are on the way," he stated.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry’s statement
The Austrian Foreign Ministry said earlier that Putin’s presence at Kneissl’s wedding ceremony had no political side to it. "It will be a private celebration and a private visit in the first place. It by no means entails changes in Austria’s foreign policy," the representative for the ministry said.
The European parliament’s member from Austria’s ecological party, The Greens, Michel Reimon, demanded Kneissl should resign because, he claimed, Putin’s visit could not be regarded as a purely private affair. He also called upon Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to ask Kneissl to step down, should she refuse to do so on her own accord.
On Wednesday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Putin’s intention to attend the wedding ceremony of Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and businessman Wolfgang Malinger on August 18.