Russia in Austria | Russians in Vienna | Bilateral Relations

Austria and Russia - Read the latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, business, investment, diplomacy, culture and tourism

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

Elections in Russia Also Held in Vienna: Between Protest and Farce

In Vienna, there were unusually long queues outside the Russian embassy as numerous young Russians lined up, sometimes for hours, to take part in the presidential election. However, their efforts were in vain as Vladimir Putin secured the elections in Russia, which were deemed neither fair nor honest internationally.

March 18, 2024

Memorial for Navalny in Vienna: A Sign of Resistance and Mourning Destroyed

An impressive testimony to the compassion and protest of the Russian community in Austria has formed in front of the Russian embassy in Vienna. In honor of the deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, an improvised memorial was created that not only expresses grief but can also be seen as a clear statement against the Putin regime.

March 17, 2024

Austria Expels Two Russian Diplomats and Austrian Ambassador in Moscow is Summoned

After Austria recently declared two Russian diplomats undesirable persons, Russia is now summoning Austria's ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. This indicates a serious deterioration in diplomatic relations between the two countries. So far, a total of eleven Russian diplomats have been expelled from Austria since 2020

March 14, 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

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

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

Escalation after Navalny's Death: Diplomatic Aftermath Between Austria and Russia

The death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has not only caused international outrage but has also led to a diplomatic dispute between Austria and Russia. An investigation into Navalny's death amidst unjust imprisonment has been also requested by the OSCE in Vienna.

February 20, 2024

Austria Plans to Withdraw from Russian Gas Contracts

In a decisive step against continued energy dependence, Energy Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) announced that she would end the gas supply contracts between OMV and the Russian company Gazprom. The contracts, which run until 2040 and oblige Austria to purchase significant quantities, are under critical review. Gewessler commissioned the Economic Research Institute (WIFO) to carry out a detailed analysis of the economic consequences of termination and the risks of continued dependency.

February 12, 2024

International Observers: Lack of Political Alternatives in Presidential Elections in Azerbaijan

International observers have found that the early presidential election in Azerbaijan lacked genuine political pluralism due to a restrictive environment. Russia has sharply criticized the OSCE mission for its lack of understanding of election monitoring.

February 11, 2024

Russia Refuses OSCE Observer's Invitation to Presidential Elections

The Russian Federation's decision not to invite observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to the upcoming presidential elections has been met with deep regret by the leaders of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA).

February 11, 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

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

Secret Meeting to Plan Mass Displacement in Germany: The Role of the Austrian Martin Sellner

A secret meeting held in a hotel near Potsdam last November brought together high-ranking AfD politicians, neo-Nazis and wealthy entrepreneurs. The meeting aimed to discuss a plan to expel millions of people from Germany. Among those present was Martin Sellner, a well-known far-right activist from Austria and former spokesperson for the Identitarian Movement Austria.

January 10, 2024

Political Thriller Around the Abramovich Villa in Austria

The sale of a villa on Lake Fuschl to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich's family in Salzburg has been revealed to have disappeared. The property was acquired through an offshore letterbox company and a British trustee. The Green Party is now calling for the sale to be reversed, requiring a trust deed. The party is seeking clarification on how the sale can be reversed without the deed.

January 9, 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

Russian Oligarch Oleg Deripaska Sells STRABAG Shares to Russian Corporation

The Russian oligarch and major shareholder of STRABAG, Oleg Deripaska, has initiated a sale of his considerable stake in the Austrian construction group to a Russian joint stock company.

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

Jan Marsalek's Deep Connections with Russian Intelligence Revealed

Jan Marsalek, once a high-ranking figure at Wirecard and now one of Europe's most wanted criminals, has been exposed as a long-time spy for Russia. Marsalek is reportedly currently in Dubai and is reorganizing Russian operations in Africa.

December 15, 2023

Discussion in Austria's Parliament on Security Policy Concerning Ukraine and Israel

In the run-up to the European Council, Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met in Parliament to discuss current security policy challenges.

December 13, 2023

Strengthening Transatlantic Relations: USA and Austria Engage in Strategic Dialogue

The United States and the Republic of Austria held their annual strategic dialogue in Vienna to deepen bilateral cooperation and emphasize shared values.

December 6, 2023

European Dissonance at OSCE Meeting in Skopje: Meeting between Schallenberg and Lavrov

At the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Skopje, a growing dissent among European states regarding the Ukraine crisis was revealed. While several EU states, including Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic states, boycotted the meeting in protest against the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, bilateral talks were held between him and several EU foreign ministers, including Austria's Alexander Schallenberg.

November 30, 2023

Austria and Slovakia Emphasize the Importance of Cooperation and Regional Stability

At a time of global uncertainties and regional conflicts, Austria and Slovakia have reaffirmed their common vision for a more stable European Union and enhanced regional cooperation. This was clearly expressed during the inaugural visit of Slovakian Foreign Minister Juraj Blanár to Vienna, where he met with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg. However, the recent parliamentary elections in Slovakia marked a significant turning point in European politics with the election victory of left-wing populist Robert Fico and his Smer-SSD party.

November 28, 2023

Ukraine Will Block Gas Transit: Challenges and Opportunities for OMV and Europe

Ukraine's decision to stop transiting Russian natural gas to the West from 2025 poses a significant challenge for OMV and for several European countries. The announcement, made by the head of Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz, Olexiy Chernyshov, raises several questions about energy security and dependence on Russian gas.

October 29, 2023

Austria Takes Over Chairmanship of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region

November 1, 2023, marks the beginning of an important phase for Austria as it takes over the presidency of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR). This key region, which stretches from the Black Forest to the Black Sea and encompasses around 115 million people, faces a multitude of challenges. The country is taking over this task from Slovenia and will be in charge until December 31, 2024.

October 24, 2023

Wien Energie Strengthens Independence By Reducing Russian Gas

With the start of the heating season in Vienna, ushered in by a sudden drop in temperatures after an unusually warm start to October, the essential issue of energy supply security is once again coming to the fore. In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions, Wien Energie, Austria's largest energy supplier, has taken proactive measures to secure heating supplies for the coming winter while reducing dependence on Russian natural gas.

October 22, 2023

Potential Consequences of a Russian Nuclear Test

In a recent development, Russia is on the brink of withdrawing its support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This decision has sparked intense discussions about the potential for Russia to conduct a nuclear test, creating significant ripples in the global security landscape. The prospect of Russia conducting such a test has prompted deep concerns among experts and policymakers.

October 17, 2023

Russia Reconsiders Nuclear Weapons Test Ban: CTBTO Expresses Concerns

In a recent development, Russia is preparing to revoke its ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, Russia will only conduct a nuclear test if the United States does likewise. Russia signed the CTBT in 1996 and ratified it in 2000.

October 10, 2023

Austria Takes Position Against Russian Wagner Group

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Austrian National Council in Parliament has unanimously supported an initiative against the activities of the Russian Wagner Group. This follows allegations that the group is involved in human rights abuses and war crimes in Ukraine and other countries. The committee calls for Austria to take action with European partners to limit the group's influence and global presence.

October 5, 2023

OSCE in Deep Crisis: Russia's Veto Paralyses Europe's Largest Security Body

The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is facing its most profound crisis as Russian vetoes block critical decisions, endangering the stability and functionality of the world's most extensive security body. This stalemate emerges from Moscow's continued aggression towards Ukraine, exacerbating tensions between OSCE member states.

September 28, 2023

Possible Spy Ring: Ex-Wirecard Manager and Suspected Russian Spies on Trial

British investigators suspect that former Wirecard manager and Austrian Jan Marsalek was involved in a spy network acting for Russia. This information became known through a communication from the British public prosecutor's office and was later reported by BBC and "Spiegel".

September 26, 2023

Tensions Escalate in Nagorno-Karabakh: The International Community Calls for Immediate Action

The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the contested territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan, is once again on a knife's edge. Recent developments have escalated tensions, threatening regional stability and raising urgent humanitarian concerns. International organizations like the OSCE and UN are deeply concerned and have convened special meetings to address the issue.

September 21, 2023

Austria EU Representative Selmayr at Dispute Because Of "Blood Money" Statement

EU representative Martin Selmayr has called Austrian gas payments to Russia "blood money". Now reprimanded by Vienna and Brussels, EU Commission representative Martin Selmayr does not want to give up his job in Austria.

September 14, 2023