In an interview with the magazine Spiegel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stated that it is impossible to attain peace in Europe without Russia participating in the process. The chancellor shared that after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his recent visit he realized that the existing issues between the EU and Russia must not prevent or hinder an open dialogue between the states.
Kurz also commented on the worries voiced by Austrian politicians and some media outlets that Vladimir Putin's invitation to the Austrian foreign minister's wedding might affect the country's policy towards Russia. The Austrian chancellor noted that nothing had changed in that regard and recalled that the country had supported the extension of anti-Russian sanctions in June.
"The decision to invite Putin to the wedding was one made by the couple. Our political stance on Russia has not changed," Kurz said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to the wedding between Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl and businessman Wolfgang Meilinger in August. Despite the fact that it was a private visit, Austrian opposition politicians, as well as some Western media, saw it as "a provocation of European proportions" and even as "a dagger in the heart of European liberal values."