Putin to pay official visit to Austria on June 24 to discuss South Stream gas pipeline construction

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Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to pay an official visit to Vienna on Tuesday at the invitation of Austrian President Heinz Fischer. During the visit, Putin will hold negotiations with his Austrian counterpart and will meet with Federal Chancellor of the Austrian Republic Werner Faymann to focus on trade, investment and joint projects in the field of energy, transport and high technologies, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said earlier.

One of the main topics of the visit will be the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, he said.

During the visit, an agreement will be signed by shareholders of a joint venture set up to implement the Austrian part of this project.

This agreement is a follow-up to the memorandum on implementation of the South Stream project in the Austrian territory, which was signed on April 29 this year,” Ushakov said.

During the visit, an intergovernmental agreement will be signed between Russia and Austria concerning mutual assistance in case of natural and man-made disasters and cooperation in preventing them, said the presidential aide.

In Vienna, Putin is also expected to meet with Russian and Austrian business people.

In 2013, trade between the two countries rose by nearly 5 percent and topped $5 billion, Ushakov said.

Over 1,200 Austrian companies and about 500 firms with Austrian holdings are registered in Russia, the presidential president said.

About 40 Austrian companies were involved in the construction of the Olympic infrastructure in Sochi, with orders worth in total 1.7 billion euro, said the Russian presidential aide.

According to Ushakov, Putin will also take advantage of his Austria visit to meet with Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter with a focus on the situation in Ukraine.

“We supported the roadmap proposed by the Swiss president. Obviously, it was not supported by all sides, however,” the Russian president’s aide said.

Putin and Burkhalter will discuss “the latest events”, including Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko’s plan to restore peace to Ukraine’s eastern regions.

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