Russo-Ukrainian War

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austria's Nehammer and France's Macron: An Alliance for Innovation and Security

During his first bilateral working visit to France, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer underlined the importance of promoting innovation and the joint fight against terrorism and organized crime as key topics of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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

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

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Vienna: Commitment to Global Challenges

At a time of global uncertainty and increasing challenges, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken's visit to Vienna sent a strong message of international cooperation and diplomatic dialog. During his stay in the Austrian capital, Blinken tackled several key issues ranging from the fight against synthetic drugs to nuclear security and continued support for Ukraine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Austria-Ghana: New Embassy and Strengthened Partnership

In the spirit of deepening bilateral relations, Austria and Ghana have reaffirmed their desire to intensify economic and political cooperation. At an official meeting in Vienna, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen and his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo emphasized the planned opening of an Austrian embassy in Accra later this year as a symbolic step towards promoting bilateral relations.

February 5, 2024

EU Ambassador in Vienna Selmayr Transitions to Academia

After serving as the Ambassador of the European Commission in Austria since November 2019, Martin Selmayr is embarking on a new journey in academia.

January 31, 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

Malta Embarks on OSCE Leadership with Security and Resilience at the Forefront

Malta has officially taken the helm of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) for the year 2024, under the leadership of Ian Borg, the Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade. At the inaugural session of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, Borg laid out Malta's ambitious agenda aimed at enhancing security and bolstering resilience across the OSCE's expansive region, amid complex global challenges.

January 28, 2024

New Year's Reception of the Austrian Federal President for the Diplomatic Corps

In a speech during the New Year's reception for the diplomatic corps, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the need to create a more peaceful and just world. In a world marked by crises, natural disasters, and wars, he called for unity and dialog.

January 23, 2024

Cyprus Takes Over the Chairmanship of the OSCE Forum for Security Co-operation

On the international stage, Cyprus has now assumed the Chairmanship of the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Cypriot Foreign Minister Dr. Constantinos Kombos opened the meeting in Vienna and outlined Cyprus' priorities for his term.

January 22, 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

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

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

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

Eurobarometer Survey: Growing EU Support in Austria

A recent Eurobarometer survey reveals a remarkable trend: support and a positive image of the European Union (EU) have increased in Austria and across Europe. According to Martin Selmayr, Head of the European Commission Representation in Austria, the mood towards the EU in Austria is "better than often assumed."

December 26, 2023

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg's Pioneering Visits to Senegal and South Africa

In an unprecedented diplomatic mission, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg was the first Austrian official to visit Senegal and South Africa, setting new impulses in Austrian-African relations and opening the 31st Austrian Cultural Forum in Pretoria.

December 20, 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

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
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