Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Vladimir Putin: Lifting Russia sanctions would benefit all

Vladimir Putin: Lifting Russia sanctions would benefit all

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said his country, which will take over the 28-nation EU's rotating presidency for six months in July, stands by EU sanctions but "will work to improve relations between the European Union and Russian Federation". The country also continues to be a major hub for the import of Russian gas into Europe, and saw trade with Russia increase by 40% over the past year, in spite of the sanction regime.

Russian experts "have been denied access to the investigation", said Putin, while Russia's arguments are "not taken into consideration" because nobody "is interested in hearing us out".

"It will be of great significance to planning the development of China-Russia relations and promoting bilateral cooperation in various fields", said Hua.

The Russian president also met Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz who spoke of the need for dialogue with Russia.

"The two sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues of common interest", it said, adding that Kong also called on NSA Ajit Doval.

Putin's visit to Austria, where he has held meetings with Chancellor Kurz of the conservative Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the nationalist Freedom Party (FPÖ), is his first to Europe since he was re-elected to a fourth term as president.

His welcome in Austria with a full military reception comes after the new populist government in Italy also said it wanted to restore traditionally close relations between Rome and Moscow, with sanctions to be reviewed.

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Mr Van der Bellen said: "Austria has always strived to contribute to reducing tensions and we will do so now and in the future".

In interviews with two major European newspapers, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz lifted the veil on the plans of his country's EU presidency, which starts on 1 July.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood weighs in on Putin's visit to Austria.

"Under such circumstances, it makes little sense - viewed from a purely economic point of view - to replace Russian gas with American liquefied gas", he told reporters.

The project has been highly contentious among European Union member states due to the fact that it skirts Ukraine and Poland en route to the European Union and because of what members see as a unsafe dependence on gas from Russian Federation.

On Tuesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaking alongside visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said the pipeline could undermine security in central and eastern Europe.

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