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Foreign Minister Michael Linhart meets Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Stockholm

AUSTRIA, December 1 - On the occasion of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm, Foreign Minister Michael Linhart met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on 2 December 2021. The talks between the two counterparts focused on bilateral relations between Austria and Russia as well as the OSCE’s role in handling current crises. It was the first in-person meeting between Michael Linhart and Sergey Lavrov. 

In the meeting, Foreign Minister Michael Linhart called for a continuation of the bilateral dialogue. It was important, he said, to maintain pragmatic exchanges with Russia in which even sensitive subjects can be discussed openly. 

I am pleased about the first meeting and my constructive talk with Sergey Lavrov. There are many areas where Austria and Russia can work together constructively – both on a bilateral level and on international issues. We want to continue that pragmatic approach and maintain an open dialogue with Russia,

said Foreign Minister Linhart on today’s meeting with his counterpart Lavrov. 

Foreign Minister Lavrov also emphasised the important and constructive role that Russia plays in the negotiations on the Vienna Nuclear Agreement. 

During the meeting, Michael Linhart also addressed the worsening relations between Russia and the European Union. The Austrian Foreign Minister also emphasised that it was important to create opportunities for dialogue. Particularly in the areas of climate and the environment, he said, collaborating would be in their mutual interest. 

Of course, today we also talked about the current tense relations between the EU and Russia. Our goal is to re-establish an objective dialogue. We have a two-pronged approach: red lines where necessary, and dialogue where possible,

said Foreign Minister Michael Linhart. 

The growing tensions in Eastern Ukraine were another topic of the meeting. 

We also discussed the current situation in Ukraine and the reports on Russian troop movements, which are concerning for us as well,

continued Michael Linhart. 

Here too, my approach is to discuss issues directly. I recently talked with my Ukrainian counterpart and the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. And today I also spoke with Sergey Lavrov. Austria will do everything it can to aid de-escalation in this conflict,

concluded the Austrian Foreign Minister.