Putin visits his best buddy in the EU: Austria’s Sebastian Kurz

07 June, 2018, 15:55 | Author: Patty Hardy
  • Russia 'not trying to split EU', says Putin

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".

"I think that the possibility of these meetings depends to a large extent on the internal political situation in the United States", he said, CNN reported. "When I am on vacation I see no need to hide behind the bushes, and there is nothing wrong with that", said Putin.

China-Russia trade has grown to $US87 billion ($A113 billion) in the past year, Putin said.

Regarding recent global negotiations with North Korea, Putin said he supported China's efforts to ease regional tensions and create a "roadmap" for the North's denuclearisation.

Putin, making his first foreign trip since being sworn in for a fourth term, said the restrictions are "harmful for everyone - those who initiated them and those who are targeted by them".

Although relations between Russia and the European Union have been strained since its 2014 annexation of Crimea, its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine and, most recently, over the poisoning of Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal in England, Austria has maintained friendly ties to Moscow.

"We will continue our efforts to uphold communication channels with Russian Federation, despite the necessary response to its actions, and take steps toward each other", Kurz stated.

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Moscow retaliated in kind but Putin has repeatedly said the sanctions were ineffective and counter-productive. "We need to build cooperation with the European Union".

During the visit, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin will hold small- and large-scale talks, meet the press together, attend signing ceremonies and welcome banquets, and exchange views on bilateral relations, cooperation in key areas, and other global and regional issues of common concern, said Hua.

President Vladimir Putin ridiculed the US indictment of 13 Russians in a television interview broadcast Monday, scoffing at the notion that a person described as his chef could interfere with a USA presidential election.

"To go forward together one with the other is better than one against the other". Austria will take over the EU's rotating six-month presidency in July.

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

Significantly, the right-wing FPOe party - the junior partner of Kurz's People's Party - supports Russia's claim of sovereignty over Crimea and advocates the easing of economic sanctions against Moscow.

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