In connection with difficulties in issuing visas to Russian diplomats wishing to travel to Vienna for multilateral events, Russia threatened Austria: “Furthermore, this situation will not remain without consequences,” said the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday. , in which the expulsion of four Austrian diplomats was announced. The Austrian Ambassador was informed that the problems that had arisen contradicted Austria’s obligations as a venue for international meetings. No further details were given about the problems or Russian retaliatory measures.
As early as February 1, top Russian diplomat Konstantin Gavrilov complained about difficulties at an OSCE meeting. “Of the eleven visas requested, only two were issued, two diplomats were rejected, the rest are awaiting a response,” he said, according to a statement available to the APA. It was unclear whether the “problems that arose” were also related to issuing visas for members of the Russian parliamentary delegation due to come to Vienna next week for the winter session of the Parliamentary Assembly (AP) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. (OSCE).
The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured the APA that Austria would fulfill its obligations under international law arising from the Headquarters Agreement with the OSCE and would allow participants from all delegations to enter the conference in good time. However, the spokeswoman did not respond to the question of whether the visas have already been issued: “It is irrelevant whether the visas have already been issued or not. They will only be valid on the eve of the start of the winter conference – as is well known, this will start on April 23. February,” she explained on Thursday night. At the same time, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that visas for members of the Russian delegation would be issued only for the purpose of participating It was still unclear on Friday what the consequences would be if Russian delegates, including EU-sanctioned MEPs, used their stay in Vienna for private meetings or events.