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Foreign Minister Schallenberg Meets His Croatian Counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman

AUSTRIA, July 26 - On 27 July 2022, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman in Vienna for a working meeting. Their discussions focused on bilateral relations, the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, European energy security, and the European perspective of the Western Balkan states.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Austria and Croatia. They have enjoyed a close relationship ever since. During the talks, Foreign Minister Schallenberg emphasised the successful economic relations in particular. Austrian companies are important players in the Croatian economy, having invested more than 5 billion euros in the country. In this context, Foreign Minister Schallenberg congratulated his counterpart on Croatia's accession to the euro zone at the beginning of 2023, which is the result of a successful reform policy and serves as a further positive signal to investors.

Austria has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Croatia, both in its efforts to establish itself as an independent country and rebuild after the war, as well as with regard to its EU integration. We are delighted that we have been able to support Croatia's 30-year success story in this way,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, underscoring the successful relationship between the two countries.

In the framework of an exchange on the Russian war of aggression, Foreign Minister Schallenberg reported on his visit to Ukraine the previous week, which took place alongside his Czech and Slovak counterparts in the Slavkov format. He emphasised Austria's efforts for the establishment of humanitarian corridors and in the investigation of war crimes. In addition, he stressed the need to resolutely counter Russian disinformation. He also noted that Russia was using energy supplies as a weapon in the conflict. Austria was looking to diversify its suppliers in the short term and would switch to renewable energy in the medium to long term in order to reduce its dependence on Russian energy. In this regard, cooperation with Croatia is of great importance.

In addition, the two foreign ministers discussed their continued support for Bosnia and Herzegovina's efforts to achieve EU candidate country status in the near future. Austria supports Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards EU membership, but recognises a need for further action to fulfil the necessary requirements, particularly as far as electoral law, fighting corruption and strengthening the rule of law are concerned.