Austria Putin holds out a hand

Still neither of the two parties — neither Russian nor Austrian has not made this official statement. Obviously, participation in the largest event of the Russian economic year, the International economic forum in St. Petersburg, is still too sensitive and controversial topic, to say about it three weeks before it starts. But the decision is made. Chancellor Christian Kern (Christian Kern) was invited to Russia in early June to this forum and will participate in it, has confirmed the Federal Chancellor’s office, the newspaper Die Presse. As mentioned further, it is possible to assume that there he will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since the quarrel between the West and Russia after the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 in the world keep an eye out for those who participate in St. Petersburg international economic forum. In 2015, at the peak of the Greek crisis, Putin was invited as an important guest of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (Alexis Tsipras) and gave him thereby a platform to compete with the rest of Europe. In 2016, the guest was the Italian Matteo Renzi (Matteo Renzi) — a staunch opponent of anti-Russian sanctions. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Jean-Claude Juncker), who also unexpectedly arrived, held, on the contrary, the race, and the treatment was appropriate.

Visit Core this signal

If you now Kern will go to Russia to meet not only with Putin but also with the major economic aces of the country, it would be a clear signal: Austria wants to re-establish economic relations, regardless of political tensions. The forum is expected not only the Chancellor but also other “high-ranking government officials,” said Kern. Also considering this and the organizing Committee headed by one of the Russian Vice-premiers. But one of Westerners, in addition to the Core, come, it is still not clear. At the request of the newspaper Die Presse in St. Petersburg said: “so far only confirmed the participation of the Indian Prime Minister. If followed by other confirmations, we will post them on our page in the Internet”.


By the way, in our country, still not announced, that not only the core will go to Russia, but Putin invited to Vienna, and the invitation made at the end of April. However, it did not the Austrian President, Alexander van der Bellen (Alexander Van der Bellen), and the head of Austrian energy group OMV Rainer Seele (Rainer Seele) during one quite ordinary meeting: 28 April, Vladimir Putin cordially received Seele in the Moscow Kremlin. The audience was also attended by the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller. The head of OMV used the opportunity to invite Putin next year in Vienna to celebrate the 50 years of cooperation, OMV and Gazprom, told Russian news agencies. It seems that the jubilee celebrations will be an event of national importance. They will be attended by the President of Austria van der Bellen, said Seele to the head of the Kremlin. According to him, van der Bellen says hi to Putin, and looks forward to meeting with the Russian President.

Still very much in love with

Seele also said Putin that in the celebrations will be attended by the Core. With Federal Chancellor agreed, according to his office. For Seele, in his words, it would be a great joy, if Putin came on the occasion of the “Golden wedding” in Vienna and was able to celebrate this event along with the Chancellor. Naturally, the question of whether there will arrive Putin, is still open. During the meeting with Seele Putin stressed that he is very satisfied with the cooperation with Austria in the gas sector. For its part, Seele sees a great potential for its development: it is surprising that OMV and Gazprom even after fifty years, “after our marriage still in love with each other what we want from Gazprom to buy even more gas,” he said. Currently, Austria relies on Russia for about 65% of annually consumed gas.


It should be noted that since Seele in the office about two years ago, ties with Russia are becoming closer. In the spring of OMV first became involved in the development of Russian gas deposits with a share of 1.75 billion euros. Also OMV funded the extension of the Russian Baltic gas pipeline “Nord stream”, and its contribution amounts to nearly one billion euros. Have not agreed a planned major asset swap under which Gazprom will take over the share of OMV in Norway and OMV will provide their share of a Siberian gas fields. OMV does not want to comment on whether soon concluded this deal. In any case, Seele, as the core, planning to come to the forum in Saint Petersburg.