Former Austrian Foreign Minister Kneissl Explains Reasons for Move to Lebanon

PeopleOther ♦ Published: September 5, 2022; 18:24 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's former Foreign Minister and ex-FPÖ politician Karin Kneissl explained at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok why she moved to Lebanon instead of Russia. The ex-politician will take part in a discussion tomorrow on a Russian export route in the Arctic Ocean.

Karin Kneissl invited Vladimir Putin to her wedding in 2018 and danced with the Russian head of state. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons /, CC BY 4.0

The Austrian foreign minister from 2017 to 2019, who also served on the supervisory board of Russia's Rosneft Group after her political career ended, attended the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.

As reported, the former FPÖ politician is very close to Russia and always caused a stir because of it. The former Foreign Minister of Austria, who has good ties with Russia and even danced with Russian President Vladimir Putin at her wedding in 2018, currently resides in Lebanon.

At the economic forum in Vladivostok, Kneissl told why she did not move to Russia.

Problems with communication

"I have not been able to move to Russia, although I speak a little Russian," Kneissl said. But she speaks better Arabic, knows Lebanon and has friends there who knew her only as "Karin," according to ORF. That is very important to Kneissl to remain unknown, she said.

She is "beyond the law" in her native Austria and left Europe because she did not participate in "this peculiar communication," Kneissl told Russian media, according to ORF. She is paying a high price for this, she added. Russian media reports did not specify which "communication" was being referred to.

Kremlin supports Kneissl

In the Kremlin, the "hounding of Kneissl" is judged negatively and seen as an "indicator of an unsound society," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented, according to ORF.

Kremlin spokesman Peskov did not want to rule out the possibility of a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Kneissl on the spot. "For the time being, there is no such thing in the president's program. However, if necessary, it can come to a conversation," Peskov commented on journalists' questions about a possible meeting of Putin with Kneissl, according to ORF Russian reports.