At the National Council of Austria, Mr Putin met with Heinz Fischer, the First President of the National Council, and they discussed a wide range of questions related to European security and development prospects for Russian-Austrian cooperation, including at the parliamentary level.
In the conversation with Mr Fischer, Mr Putin set forth Russia’s position on new missile defence systems. The President expressed apprehension that their establishment in defiance of the ABM Treaty might upset the “balance of forces” on the planet and said he favoured equal participation by all world community members in laying down the foundations for a new security system.
The situation in the Balkans was also discussed.
Mr Fischer handed over to Mr Putin a memorandum of Austria’s State Archives on scientific cooperation and exchange of information on archival documents displaced as a result of the Second World War.
In the conversations with Alfred Gusenbauer, Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, and Alexander van der Bellen, Chairman of the Green Party, Mr. Putin discussed the Chechen issue. The President said he was for a political solution to the Chechen issue and holding elections in the republic.