Wolfgang Sobotka said that at the meeting the parties saw the need to deepen and intensify bilateral inter-parliamentary relations. “We also talked about the importance of Russia's role as a partner in the processes in the Balkan region. Russia is an important partner for the EU and Austria as well in this matter,” the President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria said. In addition, the parties discussed issues of cooperation in the field of culture and youth exchanges, that, as Wolfgang Sobotka said, “are important because in this way we can help young people to get to know each other better, get rid of prejudices and come to a common understanding.”
“We also talked about the new format for cooperation within the framework of the Sochi Dialogue (Russian-Austrian Public Forum — editor's note),” he said.
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” stressed that “today, raising and discussing issues at the bilateral meeting, we talked about the most urgent problems, we talked, maybe about complex topics, but we discussed them, now we have more understanding and trust in each other” .
He expressed hope that the visit of the President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria “will provide not only as a good impetus to the development of relations between parliaments, but also clarify our position for colleagues” of the President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria.
“There are those who are not interested in convergence of our countries, in developing relations, in strengthening the position of both Austria and Russia, and they will continue to try to make provocations, do everything to give rise to tense relations, in order to come between our countries,” the Chairman of the State Duma said and stressed that the only way to avoid tension or misunderstanding is a constant dialogue at all levels. Viacheslav Volodin believes that “this is the only right way we should follow.”
At the same time, he noted that “many people do not want to see this friendship, this convergence and will do everything to drive a wedge into this relationship.”
On the situation in Ukraine
Answering a question of Austrian journalists about the situation in the Kerch Strait, Viacheslav Volodin reminded about the resolution adopted by the State Duma to appeal to the national parliaments of European countries and to inter-parliamentary organizations. According to members of the State Duma, the actions of the Ukrainian authorities, primarily the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, are aimed at aggravating the international situation in the Black Sea region and Europe as a whole. The Chairman of the State Duma said that the President of Ukraine is trying to stay in power, while putting the world at risk. “Our position is that such actions should be condemned,” he added.
“There’s no place for such dictators in Europe, and such methods cannot be used to strive for power,” Viacheslav Volodin believed.
Speaking about the actions of the Russian border guards during the incident in the Kerch Strait, the Chairman of the State Duma stressed that they “acted courageously, decisively, they actually took the fall.”
“Today we will consider the issue of awarding [border guards] certificates of merit of the State Duma, and this is one of the highest awards of the State Duma, the decision should be taken by consensus,” Viacheslav Volodin said and noted that the crew members of the Russian vessels defended not only the sovereignty of the country, but also ordinary people, who were at that time on the Kerch bridge. “We believe that the actions of the border guards are impeccable, and the international community should support us in this matter,” said the Chairman of the State Duma.
Viacheslav Volodin also addressed foreign media journalists. “This is the position of the members of the State Duma. It would be right if you convey it to our colleagues from the parliaments of Europe. When there was a military coup in Ukraine, you were silent, no one condemned it. When the Ukrainian Parliament was dissolved, you remained silent, none of these actions are condemned. When they began to ban political parties, unfavorable to the current authorities, when they began to fight with the people, you kept quiet. [ … ] Maybe now you understand what this has led to? Because those provocations that have occurred, push the world to the brink of war,” Viacheslav Volodin said.