Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz commented on the possibility of holding a summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Joe Biden in Vienna. His opinion was published on Saturday, April 17, Kurier.
Kurz noted that there are several cities that are eligible to host the meeting, and Vienna is one of them. According to him, if the summit of the two leaders is held in Vienna, it will be a “great honor” for Austria.
“We are already in contact with the Russian and American sides, if such a meeting really takes place <...> There are several cities that are currently eligible for participation, and Vienna is one of them <...> It is good for the whole world, for the whole of Europe , if there is such a meeting, wherever it may be. But, of course, if it takes place in Austria, if it takes place in Vienna, it will be a great honor for us, ”the Chancellor said at a morning briefing with reporters.
Kurz noted that the country is neutral, but the US is a much more important partner for Austria.
He said that he was concerned about the situation in Ukraine and expressed the hope that the conflict would not lead to an escalation. Kurz also condemned the words of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk about the build-up of nuclear weapons in the event that Ukraine is not admitted to NATO.
“Nuclear weapons do not lead to more security, they lead to a decrease in security <...> This approach is wrong. I don’t think it makes sense to arm each other on the line of contact here. I don’t think flirting with NATO will calm the situation, ”he added.
Earlier, on April 13, a telephone conversation took place between Putin and Biden. It was noted that it was initiated by Washington. The American leader reaffirmed his commitment to building stable and predictable relations with Russia in accordance with the interests of the United States and proposed to hold a summit meeting to discuss the set of issues facing the countries.
In turn, the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that no one would rush to work out the meeting between Putin and Biden, the main thing is that the US initiative should be correlated with real affairs.
On April 15, Biden signed a decree imposing sanctions against Russia. It was clarified that the Biden administration “made it clear” that the United States “wants stable and predictable” relations with Russia, but at the same time will defend its national interests.
On the same day, the White House confirmed that despite the US-imposed sanctions, the agreement to meet the two leaders remains in place.
In turn, the American president said that he had offered Putin to hold a meeting in Europe in the summer.