Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe would become a much more effective instrument for regulating international relations under Austria’s guidance.
Mr Putin, who said that the Soviet Army had liberated Vienna exactly 55 years ago, also noted the Soviet Union’s role in asserting Austrian statehood.
Mr Putin also said that the Russian-Austrian agreement on avoiding dual taxation, which was signed today, highlighted the two countries’ continued positive bilateral contacts.
On behalf of the Austrian government and the federal chancellor, Benita Ferrero-Waldner congratulated Mr Putin on his election as President of Russia and invited him to visit Austria.
Mr Putin and Ms Ferrero-Waldner discussed bilateral Russian-Austrian relations and noted the need for their expansion in every sphere. At the Austrian side’s request, Mr Putin spoke of plans to create a favourable investment climate in Russia.
Russia-OSCE interaction was also discussed. In Mr Putin’s opinion, the OSCE should address problems in the former Soviet Union and other regions, including Kosovo. He spoke about the situation in Chechnya and Russian leaders’ efforts to normalise life there.