Russian President Vladimir Putin lobbies in Vienna for end to European Union sanctions

Adjust Comment Print

Noting that the countries that sided with Washington on Russian Federation are now themselves starting to feel the burn, Putin said that he points it out not because he likes to rejoice at others' misfortunes, but because it proves that sanctions are detrimental to all the parties, "including those who initiated them".

It came in for criticism from its allies for being among the minority of European Union member countries that did not expel any Russian diplomats over the poisoning of the former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.

President Putin said his meetings with Austrian leaders had been "very constructive but not easy" as he called for a fresh start in relations between Russian Federation and the EU.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures during a joint news conference with Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria on June 5, 2018. The country also continues to be a major hub for the import of Russian gas into Europe, and saw trade with Russia increase by 40% over the past year, in spite of the sanction regime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised his United States counterpart Donald Trump for his "brave and mature" decision to go ahead with meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Putin mentioned that he had spoken on the phone with Trump recently about their shared intent to avoid an arms race, adding "I hope that someday this work in the interests of the United States and Russian Federation, indeed in the interests of the whole world, will begin, including between us personally".

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood weighs in on Putin's visit to Austria.

Mr Putin's sixth official visit to the country marks the 50th anniversary of the start of Soviet gas deliveries to the country.

Apart from Russia-related sanctions, the European Union has been forced to deal with a steep increase in import tariffs on steel and aluminum, which were introduced by US President Donald Trump and took effect last week.

"Under such circumstances, it makes little sense - viewed from a purely economic point of view - to replace Russian gas with American liquefied gas", he told reporters.

On Tuesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda, speaking alongside visiting German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said the pipeline could undermine security in central and eastern Europe.

The pipeline project has become a deeply divisive issue in Europe since it deliberately skirts eastern nations like Poland and Ukraine.