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The sanctions are detrimental to all, says Russia's president in Vienna. According to Chancellor, Austria, which will soon take over the presidency of the EU, will continue to do so.

Russia: Putin calls for lifting of sanctions

The sanctions are detrimental to all, says Russia's president in Vienna. According to Chancellor, Austria, which will soon take over the presidency of the EU, will continue to do so.

Russia: Putin calls for lifting of sanctions

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has called for abolition of international sanctions against his country. The punitive measures did not work, said Putin after a meeting with Austrian President Alexander van der Barken in Vienna. Both sides would benefit from one end. Putin is currently visiting Austria, it was first trip abroad in his fourth term.

The sanctions were detrimental to all – for those who had started m, and for those who were target of sanctions, President said. A waiver would serve interests of all. Russia and EU would benefit from resumption of full cooperation.

Russian economy has recovered

The United States, EU and or Western allies had imposed 2014 sanctions against Russia. They were a reaction to annexation of Crimean peninsula and to support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. Along with a fall in oil prices, weak ruble and lack of economic reforms, sanctions contributed to a two-year recession in Russia. Meanwhile, Russian economy has recovered.

Putin also met with Conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and with Vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPOe). Briefly stated that his country is a member of EU sanctions. Austria will, however, work to improve relations between EU and Russia. We hope for progress in eastern Ukraine so that sanctions could be relaxed step by step, as foreseen in Minsk agreement. Strache had called for an end to sanctions against Russia on weekend.

Austria wants to act in consultation with EU

Van der Barken said that Austria always strives to reduce tensions and will do so in future as well. However, with regard to sanctions, Austria will act in consultation with EU. Austria is one of few Western countries that has not expelled Russian diplomats in affair about nerve-poisoning attack on Russian ex-agent Sergei Skripal in England.

It is Putin's sixth official visit to traditionally neutral Austria. The official event is 50 anniversary of beginning of Soviet gas supplies to Austria. In addition, Austria will take over EU presidency for six months in July. The Russian Gazprom group and Austrian oil and gas company OMV signed a contract to supply Russian supplies until 2040.

In an ORF interview, Putin rejected conjecture before his political talks in Vienna that Moscow wanted to push a wedge into EU. Rar, Moscow wishes EU to agree and flourish because it is Russia's most important economic partner.

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