Austrian FM Schallenberg explains what Russia means to modern Europe
The new Austrian government, formed in January, previously stated in its programme there is a need for the gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia. Vienna also noted it would continue to promote direct ties with Moscow via the Sochi Dialogue.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has stated in an interview with Wiener Zeitung that good ties with Russia are a key part of European stability and that the bloc should not be engaged in conflict with Moscow, Sputnik reports.
Answering a question about Russia being a part of Western society, the minister stressed there had been such hgh hopes, but "Moscow has chosen its own path".
"But as far as that is concerned, I always like to quote a sentence by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. He said that in the long term there will be no security and stability against Russia in Europe, but only with Russia", he noted.
Schallenberg also called for dialogue between Russia and Europe.
"It has always been the Austrian line that the channels for dialogue must be kept open. Remaining silent with each other has never brought anyone forward", he concluded.