Moscow Announced the First Meeting of Sergei Lavrov and Linhart

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Austrian counterpart Michael Linhart of conservative People’s Party (VP) would meet in Stockholm at the beginning of December. A meeting of the foreign ministers, it was said in the Austrian Foreign Ministry, was “in planning”. Planned ministerial contacts were also discussed beforehand in talks between a top Austrian diplomat and Russian deputy foreign ministers in Moscow.

Sergei Lavrov will attend the OSCE Ministerial Council in Stockholm on December 2 and 3, said the official spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharova, in her briefing on Thursday. Among other things, she spoke of Lavrov’s meeting with the Austrian Foreign Minister, which had been confirmed.

At the same time, the political director of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, Gregor Koessler, had a conversation with the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov in Moscow on bilateral issues on Thursday. The Russian Foreign Ministry informed that there was also talk of future contacts between the ministers. In an interview with the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti in German at the beginning of November, Linhart himself said that he was of course looking forward to getting to know his Russian counterpart Lavrov personally.

The Austrian top diplomat Koessler also conferred with another Russian colleague on Thursday: Koessler had spoken to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about arms control, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and strategic security, it was said in Moscow. Ryabkov was most recently responsible for Russian disarmament negotiations with the United States, but he also plays an important role for Russia in the international negotiations on restoring the nuclear deal with Iran, which are to be continued in Vienna on Monday.

“Both of Koessler’s meetings took place within the framework of regular bilateral consultations between the two countries at the high official level,” commented a spokeswoman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry on Thursday evening. The topics of these extensive political consultations were international developments including the Vienna nuclear agreement with Iran, disarmament, Belarus, Ukraine, the Austro-Russian Sochi dialogue, and human rights, she said.

Reported in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency / APA.