Russians and People of CIS Countries in Vienna | Russia in Austria

Austria and Russia - Latest cross-border activities between Austria and Russia and the 9 members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

False Accusations Against Federal Police Chief Takacs in Wirecard Case Must Be Revoked by FPÖ

Austrian domestic politics recently experienced a considerable shake-up due to false accusations by the FPÖ, which claimed that Federal Police Director Michael Takacs had met with the fugitive ex-Wirecard manager Jan Marsalek on several occasions. These accusations led to legal action by Takacs, which resulted in a retraction and a cease-and-desist declaration by the FPÖ.

Yesterday

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Opposes Boycott of Hungary's EU Presidency

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has firmly opposed a boycott of Hungary's EU Presidency, despite the controversial solo actions of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who recently traveled to Moscow without an EU mandate. Schallenberg emphasized the importance of maintaining a professional working relationship within the EU.

July 10, 2024

OSCE Chairman Ian Borg Concludes Central Asia Trip: Focus on Regional Cooperation and Security

In an intensive diplomatic mission, the Chairman of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and Maltese Foreign and European Affairs Minister Ian Borg visited the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The trip aimed to strengthen cooperation and emphasize the role of the OSCE in tackling regional security challenges.

July 4, 2024

Salzburg Forum Ministerial Conference 2024: ICMPD at the Center of Efforts against Migration and Human Trafficking

The ministerial conference of the "Forum Salzburg" in Laxenburg took place under the leadership of the Austrian Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner. It attracted high-ranking representatives from the Forum's member states as well as the EU Commission and various regional and EU agencies. Discussions focused on topics such as asylum and migration, the fight against people smuggling, and measures against extremism and terrorism.

July 2, 2024

Intensification of Cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and Austria: Visit of Popșoi to Vienna

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mihai Popșoi, is in Vienna to hold important talks with the Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, while the OSCE is holding talks in Chișinău with Moldovan state officials. These visits are part of Popșoi's wider efforts and travels across Europe to intensify cooperation between Moldova and the EU and Moldova's European aspirations.

June 21, 2024

Moscow Announces Enhanced Revision of its Nuclear Doctrine

Russia's nuclear doctrine, particularly concerning its large arsenal of non-strategic nuclear weapons (NSNW), has become one of the most pressing issues in Euro-Atlantic security. Russia is planning to revise its nuclear doctrine, the Russian Foreign Ministry has announced. This decision is of course being made against the backdrop of the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine and the reactions of the West.

June 18, 2024

OSCE Chairman Ian Borg Reaffirms Peace Efforts at Ukraine Summit in Switzerland

The Ukraine peace summit on the Bürgenstock in Switzerland emphasized the OSCE efforts under the leadership of Ian Borg, while Russia was conspicuous by its absence and strict negotiating conditions.

June 17, 2024

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Receives Deputy Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received the Kyrgyz Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Water Resources, Agriculture and Processing Industry, Bakyt Torobaev, in Vienna for the first time. Amid the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, Schallenberg emphasized the need to deepen relations with the Central Asian states. The main focus of the meeting was on strengthening the bilateral partnership, particularly in the economic sphere.

June 16, 2024

Russia Expels ORF Correspondent Maria Knips-Witting

In a surprising diplomatic escalation, Russia has withdrawn the accreditation of ORF correspondent Maria Knips-Witting and ordered her to leave the country as quickly as possible. This measure was described by the Russian side as a “forced measure” and explained as a reaction to the withdrawal of the accreditations of two Russian journalists from the state news agency TASS in Austria. Knips-Witting has been reporting from Moscow since January 2024.

June 11, 2024

Austria Promotes Key Projects for Renewable Energies in Central Asia

High-ranking representatives from Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East as well as private investors are gathering in Vienna at the invitation of the World Bank to hold the International Energy Investment Forum. The event is being held in cooperation with the government of the Kyrgyz Republic and other international financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

June 10, 2024

OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts Until 2025

Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Algeria, and Oman met in Riyadh on the sidelines of the 37th OPEC and Non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting (ONOMM). During the meeting, the participating countries decided to extend the existing production cuts until the end of 2025.

June 2, 2024

Franco-Armenian Concert in Vienna in Honor of Charles Aznavour

On May 23, 2024, Charles Aznavour, one of the greatest icons of French chanson, would have turned 100 years old. To mark this special occasion, the French and Armenian embassies joined forces to celebrate the impressive life and work of the French-Armenian singer, songwriter, and actor at the Theater Akzent in Vienna. This concert was a tribute to an artist whose music and influence have shaped generations of fans and artists.

May 26, 2024

Supply Stop and Human Rights Allegations for OMV

OMV, Austria's leading energy company, is currently under immense pressure. Two developments could have a significant impact on the company and the Austrian energy market: the threat of Gazprom stopping gas supplies and serious allegations of involvement in war crimes against former OMV executives in Sudan.

May 22, 2024

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.

May 21, 2024

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

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

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

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

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

Deepening Austrian-Kazakh Relations: Focus on Economic and Political Cooperation

At a time characterized by geopolitical tensions and economic challenges, Austria and Kazakhstan have reaffirmed their intention to raise bilateral relations to a new level. The working visit of Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu to Vienna marks an important milestone in the cooperation between the two countries, with a particular focus on the economy, politics, and security.

March 18, 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

Austria and Turkmenistan Sign Cooperation Agreement

In a step towards deepening their bilateral relations, Austria and Turkmenistan have signed a new cooperation agreement for the years 2024-2025. The meeting in Vienna between Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov focused on topics of mutual interest, including political-diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, energy issues, and cultural exchanges.

March 12, 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

Vienna Hosts Meetings for Belarusian Opposition Leader

In a diplomatic engagement, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, for a pivotal discussion in Vienna. This meeting, which took place within the framework of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, brought the key figure of the Belarusian opposition to Vienna to address the OSCE and the European Community under the symbolic presence of the Austrian and EU flags.

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

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

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

Belarus Refuses OSCE Observation of Parliamentary Elections

The Belarusian authorities have decided not to invite observers from the OSCE to the upcoming parliamentary and local elections. This decision contradicts Belarus' international commitments and highlights concerns about the transparency and democratic standards of the elections.

January 16, 2024