Eastern European Countries and Austria | Bilateral Relations

Austria and Eastern European countries - Latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, business, diplomacy, culture and tourism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slovakia Takes the Helm of ICPDR Presidency

In the annual transition for the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), Slovakia has officially taken over the presidency from Serbia, marking the beginning of a year dedicated to enhancing the health and sustainability of the Danube River Basin.

April 9, 2024

Austria Deploys 50th Contingent to Kosovo for Peacekeeping

The Austrian Armed Forces are continuing their long-standing commitment to peace and security in Kosovo. At the beginning of April, the 50th contingent of Austrian troops will be deployed to the KFOR mission. This mission, in which Austria has been involved since 1999, will now be continued under the leadership of Colonel Bernhard Gruber of the General Staff Service, who will assume responsibility for around 190 soldiers.

April 8, 2024

Influential Voice in Culture and Politics: Nina Khrushcheva at the Salzburg Festival

Nina Khrushcheva, an outstanding academic, great-granddaughter of the famous Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev, and fierce critic of the current Russian government, will take to the podium at this year's Salzburg Festival with an opening speech that has already caused a sensation in the run-up to the festival. This event not only marks a cultural highlight of the year but also a moment of profound reflection on the role of art in turbulent times.

April 3, 2024

Partial Schengen Integration of Romania and Bulgaria

A first step towards the full integration of Romania and Bulgaria into the European Schengen area has been completed. With the abolition of entry controls on air and sea travel for citizens of these countries, known as "Schengen-Air", an intermediate path was found between Romania's and Bulgaria's aspirations towards integration and Austria's veto stance.

April 2, 2024

Focus on Closer Cooperation and EU Enlargement: C5 Foreign Ministers Meet in Ljubljana

The foreign ministers of the so-called Central 5 Group (C5) - consisting of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, and Slovakia - met in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a landmark meeting. This meeting marks another significant step in Central European diplomatic cooperation, which goes beyond mere neighborly assistance and focuses on the region's key challenges and opportunities.

March 26, 2024

Serbian Investor Plans Entry into Austrian Addiko Bank

A new investor is showing interest in Addiko Bank, a financial institution that emerged from the former Hypo Alpe Adria Balkan banks. The Cypriot company Agri Europe Cyprus, which is attributed to Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić, is planning to acquire a significant stake in the bank.

March 25, 2024

Europe at Crossroads: Austria's Push for Bosnia's EU Accession Negotiations

In a new phase of European integration and geopolitical strategy, attention is turning to the Western Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the heart of these discussions is Austria's committed plea for the opening of accession negotiations with Bosnia, a move that has the potential to shape Europe's political landscape in the long term.

March 19, 2024

Cyprus Concludes Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation

The final session of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was chaired by Cyprus. Cyprus' engagement in the OSCE FSC impressively illustrates the value of dialog and multilateral cooperation, even in the most difficult times.

March 13, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Under Observation by U.S. Sanctions Authorities

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), a prominent financial institution based in Austria, is the focus of the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) due to its ongoing business relationship with Russia. OFAC has contacted the bank to request details of its transactions and processes related to Russia.

March 11, 2024

Future of EU Enlargement Discussed in Vienna: Unified Vision Required

An event in Vienna, organized by the ERSTE Foundation in cooperation with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), focused on the debate about the future of EU enlargement. Under the title "Beyond Catch-27: How to make EU enlargement work?", leading experts from various fields gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating new member states into the European Union.

March 7, 2024

Austria and Italy Chief Diplomats Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Foreign Ministers of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, and Italy, Antonio Tajani, undertook a joint trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to support the country in its efforts to join the EU. This trip underlines the continued commitment of the European Union, in particular Austria and Italy, to the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

March 5, 2024

City of Vienna Warns of Nuclear Renaissance and Small Modular Reactors in Europe

In a recent statement, Vienna City Councillor for Climate Action Jürgen Czernohorszky, who is also Chairman of the Cities for Nuclear Free Europe (CNFE) initiative, is critical of Sweden's nuclear power plans, the situation, and the development of Small Modular Reactors in Europe.

March 4, 2024

Meet the New Permanent Representative of North Macedonia to the International Organizations in Vienna

Pajo Avirovic, North Macedonia's new permanent representative, presented his credentials to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Ghada Waly. Meet Ambassador, Pajo Avirovic, the new permanent representative of the Republic of North Macedonia to the International Organizations in Vienna.

February 28, 2024

Two Years of War in Ukraine: Solidarity and demands for peace from the international community in Vienna

Two years after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the international community remains alarmed and united in its support for Ukraine. The ongoing violence against civilians, including children, and Russia's violation of international human rights norms have sparked concern and outrage around the world. The OSCE and international representatives have spoken out strongly, calling for an end to the war.

February 26, 2024

Financial Market Authority Initiates Investigations Against Raiffeisen Bank International

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has launched an investigation into Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI). The focus is on possible deficiencies in the implementation of money laundering prevention measures, as can be seen from the bank's annual report published today.

February 25, 2024

Increased Security Cooperation Between Austria and Romania

In a sign of solidarity and joint commitment to peace and security in Europe, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner received her Romanian counterpart Angel Tîlvăr for bilateral talks in Vienna.

February 25, 2024

Decline in Frozen Russian Assets in Austria

The significant drop in the volume of frozen Russian assets in Austria, as observed over the past year, mirrors a broader trend seen in other countries, where the handling and status of these assets have been dynamic and subject to legal, political, and financial considerations.

February 21, 2024

Greece Takes Over ICMPD Chairmanship from Türkiye: Reorientation of Migration Partnerships

At a ceremony in Brussels, the chairmanship of the steering group of the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was handed over from Türkiye to Greece. Under the motto "A holistic approach to balanced migration partnerships", high-level representatives came together to discuss the future direction of migration policy.

February 20, 2024

Malta Supports Ukraine as OSCE Chairperson-in-Office

On his first visit abroad as Chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Malta's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Ian Borg, met with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. This meeting marks a crucial moment in the efforts to achieve peace and security in the war-torn region.

February 8, 2024

Austria and Montenegro Strengthen Relations: EU Accession by 2028 in Sight

During an official visit to Vienna by Montenegrin President Jakov Milatović, Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the importance of Western Balkan integration into the EU, with Montenegro leading the way. Given the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a "realistic prospect of accession" for these countries is now "more important than ever".

February 8, 2024

IAEA Chief Underlines in Ukraine: "No Room for Complacency"

The IAEA Director General and his team of experts traveled to Kyiv and to the south to visit the Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant. During the critical visit to Ukraine, Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), met with high-ranking Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Energy Minister German Galushchenko.

February 6, 2024

Exciting Race for EU Mandates: Austria's Parties in Starting Position

Austria's political landscape is gearing up for an exciting election year, starting with the election of EU representatives in June. The Neos were recently the last of the parliamentary parties to complete their list of candidates and their election program, marking the official start of preparations for the EU elections. Despite this great start to the campaign, the rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe and the troubled relations between the EU and Russia will make the EU elections even more complicated.

January 31, 2024

Austria's Ministry of Defense Warns of Global Risks

In a time of global uncertainty, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defense has presented the "Risikobild 2024 - World out of joint". The presentation at the Raiffeisen Forum, led by Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, aimed to shed light on the security policy challenges at the national and international level for the coming twelve to 18 months.

January 29, 2024

International Flair at the 75th Officers' Ball in Vienna

The Officers' Ball in Vienna attracted not only local guests but also an impressive number of international guests, underlining the importance of the event in the diplomatic calendar.

January 24, 2024

25th Savaball: A Celebration of Serbian Culture at the Vienna Hofburg

The 25th anniversary of the Savaball at the Vienna Hofburg will be a great celebration of Serbian culture and tradition. With high-caliber guests from politics and show business, international artists, and a social commitment, the ball promises to be a great celebration of Serbian culture and tradition.

January 17, 2024

Austria's Graz Supports Lviv in Building an Artistic Library

In a remarkable gesture of cultural cooperation, the Austrian city of Graz has agreed to support the Ukrainian city of Lviv in the construction of a new Artistic Library. This decision strengthens the already existing historical ties between the two cities and marks an important step in their cultural cooperation.

January 16, 2024

Karl von Habsburg Calls for Decisive Action in Speech on the Future of Europe

Karl von Habsburg, President of the Pan-European Movement Austria, used the annual "Speech on the Future of Europe" to address important European policy issues. The motto of the online matinee was "Courage to take responsibility".

January 11, 2024

Alarming Number of Abducted Children in the Ukraine War

The Ukrainian government has made alarming statements about the abduction of children in the war against Russia.

January 8, 2024

Austria's Industry Welcomes "Schengen Air" Agreement

Austrian industry has recently expressed its support for the "Schengen Air" agreement with Romania and Bulgaria. This agreement is seen as an important step towards European integration, especially for Central and Eastern Europe.

January 1, 2024

Schengen Enlargement: Romania and Bulgaria Move Closer, Austria Remains Reluctant

A political agreement is emerging between Romania, Bulgaria, and Austria in the discussion about the expansion of the Schengen area. Romania and Bulgaria are aiming to apply the Schengen acquis at their air and sea borders from March 2024, but Austria remains cautious about the two countries fully joining the Schengen zone.

December 28, 2023

Austria in EU Council: Focus on Finance, Migration and Geopolitical Stability

After two intensive days of negotiations, the European Council in Brussels came to an end on Friday evening. The EU member states set new priorities for the EU budget, discussed future EU enlargements, and took a stand on current geopolitical issues. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer supported these steps.

December 26, 2023

Evolution of Serbian Elections: From Socialist Yugoslavia to Democratic Transition

The history of elections in Serbia, particularly during and after World War II, is a compelling illustration of the nation's political evolution. Read more about the history and the recent election in Serbia!

December 19, 2023

International Observers Highlight Concerns in Serbia's Early Parliamentary Elections

In Serbia's early parliamentary elections, held amidst a politically and socially divided landscape, international observers have raised significant concerns about the fairness and integrity of the electoral process. The OSCE and the European Parliament expressed their criticism. The elections were marked by overwhelming advantages for the ruling party and the dominant involvement of the President, overshadowing the technical efficiency of the voting process.

December 19, 2023

Ukraine Removes Raiffeisen Bank International from the List of "War Sponsors"

The Ukrainian government has temporarily removed Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) from the controversial list of "war sponsors". This step follows intensive bilateral talks and consultations with representatives of the European Commission. RBI, which was previously criticized for its business activities in Russia and the recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics by its Russian subsidiary, is now no longer suspected of supporting the Russian war of aggression.

December 17, 2023