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Official website of the President of Russia

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President Vladimir Putin held negotiations with Austrian Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel

February 9, 2001, St Christoph, Austria

In the course of the negotiations, which lasted one hour longer than scheduled, Mr Putin and Mr Schuessel discussed the development of cooperation with the European Union and joint activities within the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well as ways of increasing trade.

Mr Putin and Mr Schuessel also discussed the issue of Austrian neutrality. Commenting on the debate in Austria about the possible abandonment of neutral status, the President underlined that the Austrian people should decide the matter without any outside interference.

Military technology cooperation was considered. Russia, Mr Putin said, was ready to bid in Austria’s tender for warplanes. The President proposed a programme including not only equipment supplies, such as MiG-29s, but also the manufacture of MiG-110 passenger jets on Austrian territory.

At the joint news conference with Mr Schuessel that followed the negotiations, Mr Putin called attention to the highly advantageous terms offered by Russia: to pay only half-price for aircraft and set off remaining amounts as Russia’s repayment of its external debt.

February 9, 2001, St Christoph, Austria