The Austrian OSCE Chairmanship 2017 was the main topic discussed during the two foreign ministers’ meeting.
Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who had travelled on to Moscow directly after his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, met the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for dinner before joining the delegation headed by Federal President Heinz Fischer due to arrive in Moscow in the evening.
The focus of Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz’s visit to Moscow is the preparation for Austria’s OSCE Chairmanship 2017. Europe is currently facing major security policy challenges. The threats posed by conflicts, terrorism and radicalisation are increasing. Another key challenge for the European Union is managing the refugee crisis. Relevant efforts are thus needed to deal with this crisis, most of all in terms of fighting its root causes and combating IS terrorism.
In their meeting, Foreign Minister Kurz and Foreign Minister Lavrov also discussed central foreign policy topics such as the situation in Syria and in Iraq. On the situation in the East of Ukraine the Austrian Foreign Minister stressed the importance of observing the Minsk Agreement. The OSCEMonitoring Mission continues to play a decisive role in this area.
Russia is also an important economic partner for Austria. Some 1,200 Austrian companies are active in Russia. In the context of its Business Support Services, the Austrian Foreign Ministry is particularly active in ensuring stable legal framework conditions for Austrian companies worldwide.
Following his talks with Foreign Minister Lavrov, Sebastian Kurz also met for discussions with a group of Russian human rights activists.
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