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Austria ready to act as mediator at Russia-US talks — envoy

Vienna is ready to act as a mediator in dialogue between Moscow and Washington, according to an Austrian envoy

VIENNA, December 13. /TASS/. Vienna is ready to act as a mediator in dialogue between Moscow and Washington, Austria’s Foreign Ministry’s Special Envoy to Russia Margot Klestil-Loffler told reporters on Thursday.

"Austria calls for continuing dialogue with Russia via open channels. Austria hosts the headquarters of many international organizations. We are ready to have a role of a mediator between Moscow and Washington," she said.

According to Klestil-Loffler, Austria as a member of the European Union, rather than a NATO member, "could become a mediator in dialogue between these influential countries."

Austria is prepared to host the Russian-US summit if the sides agree to arrange this meeting, the envoy said. "We have huge experience in holding these meetings, and we could provide a venue for this summit if the sides agree on holding it," the diplomat said.

The Russian and US leaders held their first full-fledged meeting on July 16 in Helsinki. The sides positively assessed the talks. Putin and Trump were expected to meet in November during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. However, at the last moment Trump decided not to hold talks citing the incident in the Kerch Strait when three Ukrainian vessels violated the rules of passage when heading from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov and were detained. Moscow described the incident as a provocation.