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Austria Has Become Major Hub for Gas Transfer From Russia to Europe – Putin

© Sputnik / Alexei DruzhininRussian President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, left, during a meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz, left, during a meeting - Sputnik International
The signing of memorandums between Austria and the Russian Federation, as well as a press conference with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Vladimir Putin, has begun in Austria.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has welcomed the Russian president for talks.

"Our relations are traditionally good. We cooperate well not only in the political but also in the economic sphere. This year we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the supply of Russian gas. Cooperation between Gazprom and OMV is a cooperation that has always continued, despite difficult situations," Kurtz said.

"Austria has become one of the keys, if not to say one of the major, hubs for transfer of Russian gas to Western Europe. It plays an important role in ensuring energy security of the entire European continent," the Russian president stated.

Putin also stressed that over 200 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas had been exported to Austria since the signing of the first gas contract between Moscow and Vienna 50 years ago.

"Today we had the opportunity to talk about international issues, that Russia as a superpower has a great significance in Syria and eastern Ukraine, and that Russia has a great responsibility. We hope Russia will contribute to people finally seeing what they are longing for — peace," Kurz said after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Vienna is ready to join humanitarian efforts in Syria, Vladimir Putin said after talks with the Austrian chancellor.

"If Europe wants to reduce the flow of migrants, including from Syria and neighboring countries, we must help people to return to their homes, we need to help them to build a life in their own countries," he stated.

Speaking about railway projects, Putin noted that a large infrastructure project, the creation of a broad gauge railway from Kosice in Slovakia to Vienna, is still in the planning stage.

"In the case that the project is implemented, the volume of cargo transported between Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway will increase significantly, while costs for end-users will be reduced," the Russian president said.

Results of the Talks

As a result of the talks, Russia’s Gazprom and Austria’s OMV concern signed an agreement on gas supplies until 2040. The conditions of the agreement have not been disclosed. In 2017, Gazprom's share in gas supplies to Austria reached 93%.

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