03:32 GMT +320 April 2019
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    President Vladimir Putin meets with President of Austria Heinz Fischer

    Austrian President's Visit is 'All About Life After Lifting Food Embargo'

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    The visit of Austrian President Heinz Fischer to Russia is aimed at paving the way for cooperation between Moscow and Vienna once Russia lifts its food imports restrictions, Austrian Minister of Agriculture Andrae Rupprechter told Sputnik Germany.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) On Tuesday, Fischer arrived in Moscow for a two-day visit at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to meet the country's leadership and to discuss a wide range of issues related to Russian-Austrian cooperation.

    "The aim of Austrian President Heinz Fischer's visit to Russia was to prepare us for cooperation following the lifting of the embargo," Rupprechter said.

    He added that Vienna was interested in mending bridges with Moscow because Austrian agricultural exports had dropped by 50 percent since the introduction of the Russian food embargo, imposed as a countermeasure to the EU sanctions against Russia.

    Relations between Russia and the European Union member states, including Austria, went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.

    Moscow has refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been extended for another year.

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    Tags:
    sanctions, food ban, Vladimir Putin, Heinz Fischer, Russia, Austria
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