Vienna's Foreign and Bilateral Relations

Read the latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, business, diplomacy, culture and tourism between Austria and its partners

Austria's Nehammer and Britain's Sunak On Asylum Procedures and Migration

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has received British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for an official visit to Vienna. The talks between the two Conservative heads of government focused on migration and geopolitical challenges. In a joint press statement, Nehammer and Sunak emphasized their agreement on the issue of asylum procedures in safe third countries and highlighted the importance of strategic partnerships to combat illegal migration and save lives.

1 hour ago

Russia Begins Nuclear Weapons Exercises Near Ukraine

Russia has begun nuclear weapons exercises near the Ukrainian border, once again issuing a stronger nuclear threat to the West. The exercises, which are taking place in the south of Russia, include training with tactical nuclear weapons, as announced by the Russian Ministry of Defense.

1 hour ago

Austria's Constitutional Protection Agency Warns of Chinese Economic Espionage

The Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution has issued an urgent warning about Chinese industrial espionage. Small and medium-sized enterprises and research centers are particularly at risk.

Yesterday

FPÖ Wants Orban as EU Commission President

The top candidate of the Austrian right-wing party FPÖ is threatening to stop EU contributions under an FPÖ government and would like to see the Hungarian prime minister as EU Commission president.

Yesterday

Georgia in the Focus of the OSCE: Protests, Political Tensions and International Support

The political situation in Georgia remains tense as the population takes to the streets to protest against a controversial law and international actors pledge their support. During his visit to Georgia, the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Malta's Foreign Minister Ian Borg, emphasized the importance of civil society and the organization's role in conflict resolution. At the same time, protests against the so-called "agent law", seen by many as a threat to the country's democratic structures and EU integration, are continuing.

May 16, 2024

Brenner Transit Dispute: Austria and Italy Go to European Court

The long-running dispute over the anti-transit measures on the Brenner route between Austria and Italy continues to escalate: the European Commission has cleared the way for Italy to take Austria to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

May 16, 2024

Slovakia Prime Minister in Danger: Assassination Attempt on Slovakia's Robert Fico Shakes Europe

A serious attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has shaken Europe. A 71-year-old man shot Fico after a meeting and is in critical condition.

May 15, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Withdraws from Controversial STRABAG Transaction

Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) has announced that it will no longer pursue the planned acquisition of shares in STRABAG SE. This decision was made public in an ad hoc announcement in which the bank stated that it had not received the necessary comfort in discussions with the relevant authorities to proceed with the transaction. RBI therefore decided to refrain from the transaction for reasons of prudence.

May 15, 2024

René Benko Business Scandal: Abu Dhabi's Ruling Family Demands Millions Back

The ruling family of Abu Dhabi, led by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, is demanding the return of 250 million euros from René Benko via the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in Paris.

May 14, 2024

New Perspectives in Austrian-Turkish Relations: Schallenberg in Ankara

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara for two days to hold important talks with Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The reason for the visit is the Austrian-Turkish anniversary year 2024, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the friendship treaty and the 60th year of the recruitment agreement between the two countries.

May 14, 2024

UNODC Reports the Unyielding Challenge of Wildlife Trafficking

Wildlife trafficking remains a critical global issue, endangering thousands of species and disrupting ecosystems around the world. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released a comprehensive report detailing the scale and complexity of the ongoing challenge.

May 13, 2024

Austrian NEOS Party Calls for Special Audit on Flawed Austrian Counterintelligence

In a recent initiative in the Austrian National Council, the NEOS party has requested a comprehensive special audit by the Austrian Court of Audit focusing on the effectiveness of counter-espionage measures in the central ministries. This demand is particularly directed at the ÖVP-led interior, foreign, and defense ministries, which, according to NEOS Secretary General Douglas Hoyos, have shown a "lax" attitude to counter-espionage for decades.

May 13, 2024

FPÖ Demands Stricter Control of Austria's Payments to Ukraine

In a recent debate in the Austrian parliament, the FPÖ called for establishing a separate control body to review the financial support provided by Austria and the EU to Ukraine. FPÖ MP Susanne Fürst expressed concerns about the efficiency of the existing control mechanisms and warned of the risk that the billions in aid could seep into the "channels of the Zelenskyy regime".

May 13, 2024

High Turnover of Russian Embassy Staff in Austria

The Austrian authorities are at the center of a sensitive security debate as diplomatic relations with Russia are strained by high staff turnover and serious allegations of espionage. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg addresses these issues in light of new parliamentary questions.

May 13, 2024

Ukrainian Embassy in Vienna Protests Against FPÖ Election Poster

The Embassy of Ukraine in Vienna has lodged a formal complaint with the Austrian Foreign Ministry after an election poster by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) caused outrage.

May 8, 2024

Remembering the Past, Preserving the Future: Liberation Ceremonies in Mauthausen and Melk

In an impressive gathering, thousands of people commemorated the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp and its satellite camps to keep the lessons of history alive and fight against forgetting. International delegations, including high-ranking representatives from politics and society, gathered to underline the importance of law and justice and to honor the victims of National Socialism.

May 8, 2024

Medical Research Cooperation between Austria and France

An important framework agreement between Austria and France was signed at the French embassy, laying the foundations for closer scientific cooperation. The French Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) and the Austrian Wolfgang Pauli Institute (WPI) will intensify the transnational research and knowledge exchange.

May 7, 2024

Austria's Rapprochement with NATO in the Context of Geopolitical Tensions

In a new development, Austria and three other traditionally neutral countries - Ireland, Malta, and Switzerland - are seeking to deepen their relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This move is part of a strategic response to the increasingly volatile geopolitical situation in Europe, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

May 7, 2024

Diplomatic Collisions on the Nuclear Front: Global Nervousness over Russia's Nuclear Maneuvers

Increasing tensions and recent developments regarding nuclear exercises and rhetoric pose a number of challenges for Europe, European security and especially Austria as the home of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

May 6, 2024

Commemoration and Diplomacy: Austria's Schallenberg, Italy's Tajani and Brazil's Vieira in Imola

In a moving ceremony in Imola, which marked the 30th anniversary of the deaths of Formula 1 icons Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna, thousands of fans, political heavyweights, and family members came together to commemorate the deceased racing drivers. Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, who himself once witnessed the tragic events, played a central role in the celebrations, which combined emotional and diplomatic themes, together with Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani and Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.

May 6, 2024

Vienna Conference Ended with Call for Regulation of Autonomous Weapons Systems

The call for stricter rules for autonomous weapons systems is growing louder, especially after the first international conference on this topic, which took place in Vienna from April 29 to 30, 2024. Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Foreign Minister, emphasized the urgency of establishing clear international rules for the use of autonomous weapons.

May 6, 2024

20 Years of EU Enlargement: Austria Looks at the Success Story of European Integration

Exactly 20 years ago, on May 1, 2004, a historic enlargement of the European Union came into force. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Cyprus became member states, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Europe. This fifth round of enlargement marked a milestone for the countries involved and a significant change for Austria, as Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Austrian Society for European Politics emphasize.

May 5, 2024

UK Minister Chris Philp Advocates for Stronger International Cooperation at UN Narcotics Commission in Vienna

The Rt Hon Chris Philp MP, Minister for Crime, Policing, and Fire, represented the United Kingdom at this year's United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting in Vienna. The CND serves as the UN's foremost policymaking body in the sphere of drug control, tasked with overseeing the application of international drug control treaties.

May 2, 2024

RBI in a Balancing Act Between Sanction Risks and Solid Management

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is currently caught between geopolitical tensions and its own business progress. Recent developments have led the bank to take cautious steps to avoid sanction risks on the one hand and to present its robust quarterly results on the other, which show that the bank remains strong even without the income from Russia and Belarus.

May 2, 2024

Republic of Austria Opposes Restructuring of Signa Development

The Republic of Austria has filed an appeal against Signa Development's fiduciary restructuring plan, leaving the future of the restructuring process of the real estate conglomerate founded by René Benko hanging in the balance. This legal action could lead to a complete reassessment of the restructuring strategy.

May 1, 2024

Vienna National Defense Academy to Host Regional Strategy Course for the Western Balkans

The "Regional Strategic Leadership Course" is part of a larger initiative launched in 2018 to promote cooperation between the defense ministries of Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

April 30, 2024

Vienna to Host the "TRATOLOW" Climate Conference for the Western Balkans and Turkey

In a crucial meeting in Vienna today, leading climate and environmental representatives from the Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU discussed strategies to tackle climate change. Organized by the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, the EU Department for Climate Action and the Austrian Environment Agency, the conference focused on the TRATOLOW project, which aims to achieve a sustainable climate transition in these regions.

April 29, 2024

EU Commission Warns Austria About Outstanding Climate Plan

Austria is being criticized by the European Commission because it is the only EU country that has not yet submitted its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The failure to meet the deadline has led to official infringement proceedings. This increases the pressure on the Austrian government to revise and present its strategies for achieving the climate targets by 2030.

April 29, 2024

Meet India's Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna

Shri Shambhu S. Kumaran, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative, presented his credentials to Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, and the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna, Ghada Waly. Meet Ambassador, Shambhu S. Kumaran, the permanent representative of the Republic of India to the International Organizations in Vienna and Ambassador to Austria.

April 28, 2024

Vienna Hosts Major International Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems

The historic Hofburg Palace in Vienna will be the center of global attention as it hosts the international conference entitled "Humanity at the Crossroads: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Challenge of Regulation." The Vienna Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems will take place from April 29 to 30, 2024.

April 28, 2024

Austria and Costa Rica Strengthen Cooperation in the Field of Disarmament

Against the backdrop of the upcoming Vienna Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met his Costa Rican counterpart Arnoldo André Tinoco in Vienna. The meeting marked an important step in the deepening of bilateral relations and joint disarmament efforts between the two countries.

April 28, 2024

Switzerland's Cassis and Austria's Schallenberg Focus on Neutrality and Security Policy

At a time when geopolitical tensions are increasing worldwide, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis met in Bern to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations, the neutrality of both countries, and their common security policy.

April 28, 2024

Future of Research in Austria: Leader in the European Union

In an unprecedented phase of development, Austria's research landscape has set out to achieve the highest research quota within the European Union. The year 2024 marks a turning point in which the country achieves a research quota of 3.34% of gross domestic product (GDP) - a record figure that puts Austria on the ambitious path to the top in Europe.

April 24, 2024

Austria at 20 Years of Slovenia's EU Membership Under the Sign of Enlargement

At a time of profound changes and challenges in Europe, Slovenia is celebrating a significant anniversary of its EU membership. The celebrations were accompanied by a meeting of European heads of state, more specifically Slovenia's neighbors, who discussed the future of the Union and enlargement policy.

April 24, 2024

Malta Champions Enhanced UN-OSCE Cooperation Amidst Global Security Challenges

As Malta takes a prominent stance in international diplomacy by chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), it has vowed to strengthen its collaboration with the United Nations to face what is described as Europe's greatest security challenge since 1945. Malta’s Foreign Minister Ian Borg affirmed the commitment during his address to the UN Security Council in New York City.

April 23, 2024

Reflection on the Diplomatic Posture: France's Ambassador Gilles Pécout Comments

The French Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, gave a final interview before leaving Austria on the current geopolitical challenges and the position of France and Austria in the face of increasing tensions with Russia.

April 23, 2024

Flow-Through Capital Despite Sanctions: Russian Investments in Austria Continue to Flow

While international tensions and the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than two years, are putting a heavy strain on relations between Russia and the West, Austria remains a remarkably robust magnet for Russian investment. Contrary to expectations that the extensive international sanctions against Russia would curb capital flows, the latest data from the Austrian Ministry of Economic Affairs' investment control report shows a different reality: Russian investments in Austria rose by 14% to EUR 25.5 billion in the first half of 2022.

April 22, 2024

UNODC Launches Global Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants

At a time of global challenges such as war, large-scale migration and refugee flows, increasing cybercrime, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, human trafficking and migrant smuggling have become a multi-billion dollar business. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna has presented a new global initiative to combat these problems.

April 22, 2024

Climate Incentive Programs in the USA: A Magnet for Austrian and International Investors

At an information event in Austria, the U.S. Commercial Service and SelectUSA, together with the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria, provided important insights into the latest U.S. climate incentive programs. The event attracted a large number of Austrian and international investors who learned about the opportunities offered by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

April 18, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Expects ECB Call to Accelerate Withdrawals from Russia

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is facing increasing pressure from the European Central Bank (ECB) to reduce its business activities in Russia more rapidly. This follows a number of developments and the publication of an ad hoc announcement by the bank in which it is expected that the ECB will make an official request to accelerate the wind-down measures in the near future.

April 18, 2024

Russia Expels Austrian Diplomats and Threatens Further Measures

In the latest twist in diplomatic relations between Austria and Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry has declared an Austrian diplomat an "undesirable person". This decision follows the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Austria in March in connection with allegations of espionage.

April 17, 2024

Escalating Tensions: EU Responds to Iranian Missile Strikes on Israel

Tensions in the Middle East have further escalated following the recent Iranian drone and missile attacks on Israel, prompting an international response, particularly from the European Union. An urgently convened virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, including Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, took place to discuss the situation and possible steps to be taken.

April 17, 2024

Group DF International and Hyundai Engineering in Vienna: New Industrial Park in Ukraine

In an ambitious move to aid Ukraine's post-war reconstruction, Group DF International, led by controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, and Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd., have embarked on a major venture to establish a chemical industrial park in the city of Rivne, situated in Western Ukraine. This pivotal agreement was officially sealed in Vienna, setting the stage for what is poised to be one of the most substantial investment initiatives in the region.

April 15, 2024

OSCE Chair Ian Borg Concludes Diplomatic Tour Across Serbia, Kosovo, and Moldova

Ian Borg, the Chair-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Malta’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, recently wrapped up a series of diplomatic visits aimed at strengthening partnerships and advocating for continued dialogue and cooperation within the OSCE member states, focusing on Serbia, Kosovo, and Moldova.

April 15, 2024

Vienna Stock Exchange Experiences First Record Quarter Despite Global Uncertainties

The Vienna Stock Exchange closed the first quarter of 2024 with a remarkable increase in bond listings, although the economic environment continues to be characterized by high-interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and high inflation. Despite these challenges, the exchange recorded a record 3,000 new listings, the best start to a year in its history.

April 14, 2024

Vienna to Host Austria's Honorary Consular Conference 2024

The Austrian capital Vienna was the center for the Honorary Consular Conference 2024, attended by around 200 honorary consuls from all over the world. The meeting, which takes place from April 10 to 12, is the first of its kind since 2015 and serves as a platform for the exchange and further development of consular practice.

April 14, 2024

Escalating Tensions at Europe's Largest Nuclear Plant Amidst War in Ukraine

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest nuclear facility, has become a focal point of escalating tensions and mutual accusations between the two nations. The plant, seized by Russian forces early in the invasion, now sits precariously at the center of military and geopolitical strife, with both nations accusing each other of dangerous provocations.

April 14, 2024

FPÖ Distances Itself from Friendship Treaty with "United Russia"

In a press conference, the Third President of the National Council, Norbert Hofer, clarified that the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) relativizes the friendship treaty concluded with the United Russia party in 2016. This comes in light of the recent accusations of an espionage affair involving the FPÖ.

April 14, 2024

Traditional Inaugural Visit of the Swiss Head of State to Vienna: Deepening bilateral relations between Switzerland and Austria

Swiss President Viola Amherd met with her Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen. During geopolitical uncertainty and European challenges, the bilateral talks focused on European security policy, relations with the EU, and the planned Ukraine peace conference.

April 10, 2024

Russia's Covert Influence in Europe: Current Strategy Only "Plan B"

The Czech government recently revealed the existence of a Moscow-funded propaganda network that used the Prague-based online portal Voice of Europe to influence the upcoming EU elections. Austrian political scientist Gerhard Mangott and his Ukrainian colleague Anton Shekhovtsov explained that this tactic was merely Russia's "plan B".

April 10, 2024