Trade between the Russian Federation and Austria is skyrocketing, and the list of areas where the nations share mutual interest is quite large, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz in Moscow:
Last year the trade grew by more than 40%, Russian investments in the Austrian economy reached 23 billion dollars, Austrian investments in the Russian economy – 5 billion dollars.
The Austrian chancellor for his part, stated strengthening ties with Moscow was a priority:
I will be happy to discuss bilateral relations with you, and deepen them, and the EU’s relations with Russia and international issues.
Those issues aren’t the only thing that Putin and Austria have in common, the Russian President is, in fact, a master of the German language. Check out this hilarious exchange between Putin and the president of the Austrian chamber of commerce during a visit back in 2014.:
Speaker: President Putin, you know in 1914, a part of Ukraine belonged to Austria.
Putin: What is that supposed to mean?…..What are you proposing?
Speaker: That means that today, Mr. President, 100 years later, Ukraine is part of a continent…
Putin: I’m already afraid of what he’s going to say next…
This visit happened at the height of the crisis in Ukraine, when Russia was supposed to be “isolated” by the “international community.” Vienna in fact, took a lot of heat from other EU states for hosting the Russian president.
It is a good indicator of the health of the relationship between the two countries and that Austria is willing to deal with Russia on impartial terms.