Kurz Welcomes Movement Towards Russia-EU Dialogue

VIENNA (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 24th June, 2021) Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Thursday that he is happy that there is a movement towards having a dialogue between the European Union and Russia.

"We are geographically closer to Russia than the United States. We cannot limit ourselves to the fact that the EU looks at how Russia and the United States communicate only when it is geographically closer to Russia. Many topics, such as Ukraine and others, affect us more than the United States," Kurz told reporters ahead of the EU summit in Brussels.

Financial Times has reported, citing diplomatic sources, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron want the EU to consider holding a summit with the participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Therefore, we, Austria, called for such an exchange of views, German Chancellor Angela Merkel did it too, like some others. I am glad that there is movement in this direction and that France has the same opinion. In our opinion, as we said earlier, in addition to responding to violations of international law and in the field of human rights, dialogue is necessary, and if this happens, it would be good," Kurz added.

Kurz also said that the potential dialogue with Moscow should not be left exclusively for Washington.

"I think it would strengthen the EU as a whole if the entire EU has a dialogue format with Russia. The member states already have it: Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, but smaller countries like us are in regular contact with the Russian president. Why not the whole EU then? This cannot be given only to the member states, and certainly not only to the United States," Kurz said.