Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Malta Assumes OSCE Chairmanship Under Challenging Circumstances

At a time of global tension and uncertainty, Malta will assume the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on 1 January 2024. Malta's Foreign Minister Ian Borg expressed a deep sense of responsibility for this new role, especially in light of the ongoing complex and critical security challenges.

January 4, 2024

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

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

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

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 Slovenia Support Moldova's EU Aspirations

In a remarkable gesture of solidarity and commitment to European integration, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar recently visited Moldova and met with President Maia Sandu.

November 17, 2023

Kosovo's Challenges and Progress under Prime Minister Albin Kurti

The head of government of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, was a guest at the Renner Institute in Vienna to talk about the challenges facing his country. Under the title "Kosovo: The young democratic state as a pawn of geopolitical interests", he not only took stock of his time in government so far in conversation with Director Maria Maltschnig but also explored the question of how his country can survive amidst the conflicting interests of geopolitical players.

November 16, 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

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

Austria's Former Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl: From Lebanon to St. Petersburg - with Ponies in her Luggage

Karin Kneissl, the former Austrian foreign minister, has become a major figure on the international stage in recent years. Her latest move has now seen her relocate to Russia, more precisely to St. Petersburg.

September 12, 2023

OSCE Chairman Osmani and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Held a Critical Telephone Call About the OSCE

Since February 24, 2022, stress and depression have increased significantly in the OSCE. This is because the most important political decisions in the OSCE require the consent of all 57 governments. However, this consensus rule is blocked mainly by Russia, which severely limits the organization's ability to act. OSCE Chairman-in-Office Bujar Osmani, who is also the foreign minister of North Macedonia, had a critical telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

September 7, 2023

Ukraine Secures Grain Export through Croatian Adriatic Ports

Ukraine has reached an agreement with Croatia to export grain through ports on the Adriatic Sea. The agricultural goods are to be shipped to Croatia via the Danube and from there they will be transported further to the Adriatic coast.

August 1, 2023

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties: Outcomes of Austrian-Armenian Meeting in Vienna

The meeting between the Austrian and Armenian Foreign Ministers addressed crucial regional and global issues, including migration, security, and humanitarian challenges. The signing of the Readmission Agreement Protocol and discussions on various topics laid a foundation for further cooperation and diplomatic efforts between the two nations.

July 25, 2023

Austria's State Security Agency to Take Stronger Action Against Disinformation

The Directorate of State Protection and Intelligence (DSN) has reportedly called for the introduction of penalties for spreading "fake news" in order to curb the spread of conspiracy theories.

July 6, 2023

Russia and Ukraine Accuse Each Other of Sabotage at Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant

Kyiv and Moscow have voiced accusations against each other regarding possible acts of sabotage at the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant. The Kremlin described the situation as tense, while Ukraine again accused Russia of planting explosive devices at the nuclear plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency also continues to express concern.

July 5, 2023

Security Review Conference Convened by OSCE Chairpersonship

The OSCE Chairpersonship organized the Security Review Conference in 2023 to address the security crisis and promote multilateral engagement. High-level representatives gathered to assess security threats, including the humanitarian impact of Russia's war against Ukraine.

July 4, 2023
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