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    THOMAS KLISTEL: PEACE AND SECURITY IN EUROPE CAN BE ESTABLISHED ONLY IN COOPERATION WITH RUSSIA

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    NOVO-OGAREVO, 14 February, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/. -Austrian President believes that peace and security in Europe can be established only in cooperation with Russia. Thomas Klistel made this statement during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "Russian-Austrian relations ought to be viewed today through the perspective of the Russia-EU relations," the Austrian leader believes.

    "Today and tomorrow we are going to discuss many issues pertaining to the relations between Europe and Russia, and I'm certain that in the long term peace and security in Europe can be established only in cooperation with Russia," Thomas Klestil stressed.

    He is convinced that "Europe needs Russia and Russia needs Europe." Austrian President agreed with the Russian leader that there are no current problems in the two countries' bilateral relations. He added that the last few years have seen "increased Austrian investment in Russia".

    "This is a sign of trust, a reflection of the fact that the general situation in Russia has become more stable, with people's living standards being steadily on the rise," the Austrian head of state said.

    With the official talks finished, the two Presidents will continue their communication at an informal dinner where they are to be accompanied by their spouses.

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