Viaсheslav Viktoroviсh The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the seventh convocation. He was elected as part of the federal list of candidates proposed by the All-Russian political party “United Russia” noted that the last time the head of the Austrian parliament visited the State Duma was 17 years ago. “Such frequency should be a matter of concern because the relations between parliamentarians in the framework of inter-parliamentary cooperation should ensure the development of relations between our countries,” said the Chairman of the State Duma. He expressed the hope that the visit of Wolfgang Sobotka will intensify the development of inter-parliamentary relations between the countries, as well as lay the foundation for the development of relations within the framework of specialized committees and “friendship groups”.
Viacheslav Volodin pointed out that “contacts and dynamics of relations [of the Russian Federation and Austria] are very effective at the level of heads of state, executive authorities, foreign ministries, as for inter-parliamentary cooperation, for unknown reasons [there are] such gaps, pauses, and virtually no constant dialogue”.
Without dialogue, there is no trust, and dialogue between parliamentarians provides for greater understanding between nations, the Chairman of the State Duma stressed.
He reminded that relations should be built on the principles of mutual respect, trust, and non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states. Viacheslav Volodin called for a joint discussion of the problems and the decisions under consideration, this will allow a better understanding of the parties' positions and finding a solution, which “will certainly be more trusted”.
The Chairman of the State Duma noted the good dynamics in the development of relations between the Russian Federation and Austria, laid by the leadership of both countries. “It would be right for us to do our part in the development of relations,” he said and stressed that there is a basis for their development in the framework of the parliamentary dimension.
Over the past year, the trade turnover between the countries grew by 40%, and the flow of tourists from Russia to Austria and from Austria to Russia is growing. According to Viacheslav Volodin, “this shows serious trends.”
Wolfgang Sobotka believes that relations between Russia and Austria are developing very positively, including “there is a lively exchange in cultural sphere” and close economic cooperation. He agreed with Viacheslav Volodin that in the inter-parliamentary relations of the Russian Federation and Austria there is ‘a place for moving up’.
At the meeting, Wolfgang Sobotka noted that Russia is among Austria’s major partners at the parliamentary level. “Russia, Germany, France, Italy, America, Israel are our most important partners at the parliamentary level,” he said.
The President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria stressed the importance of cultural exchange between countries, and also said that he had a meeting with representatives of the Austrian business in the Russian Federation to get to know their opinion about how to conduct business in Russia.
“All business representatives gave me a rather positive picture, and were very pleased, despite the fact that some of the issues of the future are undecided,” said Wolfgang Sobotka.
“I think that we need joint actions in this field. The economic sphere, the sphere of export and import is very important for us,” he said.
“I agree […] with you that we need to strengthen our inter-parliamentary relations, and this will depend on all of us,” concluded the President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria.