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June 11, 2018 No.
7516

Russia In The World – Russia-Austria Relations – Russian Expert Danilov: Russia Is Not Isolated

"Russia In The World" is a MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project review of Russia's geopolitical interests and areas of penetration. This installment will deal with Russia-Austria relations.


Putin with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (Source: Kremlin.ru)


Putin with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. (Source: Federal-chancellery.gv.at)

On June 5, 2018, on his first visit to an EU member country since his reelection, Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a one-day visit to Austria. The visit marked the 50th anniversary of the first contract on natural gas supplies from the Soviet Union to Austria.

It is worth noting that on July 1, Austria will take over the presidency of the EU Council and will actively participate in the formation of the EU's position and decisions, including those regarding sanctions.

Commenting on sanctions, Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen said that Austria is acting in concert with the other EU countries, but that at the same time dialogue with Russia is extremely important. He added that Russia is part of Europe, not a "foreign element," and stressed that peace in Europe can only be achieved together with Russia.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastain Kurz underlined that Austria-Russia relations have been progressing very well for a long time.

During the visit, several agreements were signed, among them one on gas supplies until 2040, between Gazprom Export and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading GmbH.

Below are Russian media reactions to Putin's visit to Austria and transcripts of Putin's meeting with Austrian Chancellor Kurz and with Austrian Pesident van der Bellen:

  • Reactions To Putin's Visit To Austria

  • Russian Expert Shveizer: Sanctions Won't Be Lifted Without A Unified Eu Decision

  • Russian Expert Danilov:  Kurz Is Already Being Referred To As Putin's 'Sidekick'

  • Talks With Russian President Putin And Federal Chancellor Of Austria Sebastian Kurz – Kurz: 'This Year We Are Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of Gas Supplies From Russia To Austria Owing To Cooperation Between Gazprom And Omv'

  • Chancellor Kurz: Austria And Russia Have Been Progressing Very Well For A Long Time

  • Putin: If Europe Wants The Flow Of Migrants To Europe From Syria And From Neighbouring Countries To Decrease, It Is Necessary To Help People To Return To Their Homes
  • Talks With President Of Austria Alexander Van Der Bellen - President Of Austria: Russia Is Part Of Europe And Not Some 'Foreign Element'

  • President Of Austria: 'Good Relations With Russia Are Important For Me Not Only In The Context Of European Policy But Also For Personal Reasons'

  • Putin: 'Russia’s Austrian Partners Have Supported Our Plans To Increase Gas Supply To European Consumers, Including As Part Of Nord Stream 2 And Other Energy And Infrastructure Projects'

  • Q&A - Putin: Russia Is The Second Largest Investor In Austria

  • Q&A – Austrian President: There Is Little Sense To Replace Russian Gas With American Lng

  • Q&A – Putin: 'Not Only Russia But Also Our European Friends Are Interested In Restoring Full-Scale Work'

Reactions To Putin's Visit To Austria

The Austrian government comprises a coalition of the center-right ÖVP and the right-wing FPÖ. Austrian Chancellor Kurz is also the ÖVP political leader, and Austria's vice chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, is the leader of the FPÖ.

Strache has been critical of EU sanctions against Moscow. On June 3, ahead of Putin's visit to Austria, Strache said in an interview with the newspaper Oesterreich: "It is high time to put an end to these exasperating sanctions and normalize political and economic relations with Russia."[1]

It is worth noting that Austria did not expel Russian diplomats, as other EU countries did, in response to the poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence officer and British spy Sergei Skripal. Commenting on the Salisbury incident, Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl said: "We’ve come across an incident, the circumstances of which require investigation... We’ve never practiced the expulsions of diplomats because diplomacy means something bigger than reciprocal memorandums, it means working over nuances."[2]

Below are Russian media reactions to Putin's visit to Austria:

Russian Expert Shveizer: Sanctions Won't Be Lifted Without A Unified EU Decision

Vladimir Shveizer, political expert at the department of social-political research at the Institute of Europe, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, stated:

"... When Putin and Kurz talk about 'special relations', they are sincere. In Austria, the level of suspicion towards Moscow is much lower, than generally in Europe. We have good trade and economic relations. Austrian business was one of the most affected by the EU sanctions against Russia. Therefore, local politicians are much more moderate in their assessment of Russia's international actions...

"Yet, it's important to understand that the sanctions won't be lifted without a unified EU decision. Austria's positions in Brussels are not strong enough in order to influence such decisions. Yet, it's good that there are more and more EU countries which stand for smoothing the sanctions, though they are not yet able to change anything.

"From my perspective, it is right that we are not trying to push our Austrian colleagues to a conflict with Brussels. This would be doomed to fail, and such actions would only lead to a deterioration of our relations with Vienna. On the contrary, the fact that there are EU countries, which have a good attitude towards us, will benefit us – probably not immideately, but definitely it will happen later. We just do not need to push the situation..."

(Aif.ru, June 5, 2018)

Russian Expert Danilov: Kurz Is Already Being Referred To As Putin's 'Sidekick'

Commenting on Putin's visit to Austria, Russian expert Ivan Danilov wrote in Ria.ru:

"Due his desire to get the relations with Russia straight, Chancellor Kurz is already being referred to as Putin's 'sidekick'. And there is a suspicion that there are just couples of days left until the [Austrian Chancellor] will be directly accused of working for the Kremlin.

"... After Putin's visit [to Austria] the beloved thesis supported by our Western opponents regarding "Russia's total diplomatic isolation from the civilized world" is now expremely unsubstantiated.

"The breakthrough of this "diplomatic blockade", which started at recent [economic] forum in St. Petersburg [with the participation of French President Emmanuel Macron] and became obvious with the visit to Vienna, caused a double irritation, since [the West] invested considerable diplomatic and media resources in order to support the illusion of [Russia's] isolation. Now, the authors of this strategy look not only silly, but rather comical."

(Ria.ru, June 6, 2018)

Talks With Russian President Putin And Federal Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz – Kurz: 'This Year We Are Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of Gas Supplies From Russia To Austria Owing To Cooperation Between Gazprom And OMV'


After signing Russian-Austrian documents. With musical prodigy Alma Deutscher, 13, who played a little fantasia in Putin's honor. (Source: Kremlin.ru)

On June 5, Putin met with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The meeting was attended by Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov and Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache.

Following the consultations, a number of bilateral documents were signed in the presence of the Russian President and the Austrian Federal Chancellor. The documents signed include a protocol on the avoidance of double taxation of income and capital as well as memorandums of cooperation in innovation and forestry, two agreements between Russian regions and Austrian companies, and the Agreement on Gas Supplies until 2040 between Gazprom Export and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading GmbH.

Below are excerpts of the press statements following the talks with Austrian Federal Chancellor Kurz:

Chancellor Kurz: Austria And Russia Have Been Progressing Very Well For A Long Time

Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria Sebastian Kurz: "(In Russian.)Welcome! Mr Federal President of Austria and Mr President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, ladies and gentlemen, colleagues from the Government, Mr Vice Chancellor and, first of all, Mr President.

"Please allow me to cordially welcome you in Austria and sincerely thank you for choosing Austria for your first visit to the European Union after your re-election.

"Welcome to Austria!

"It is my impression that relations between Austria and Russia have been progressing very well for a long time. We maintained cooperation even in difficult times. Apart from good political cooperation we have very strong economic cooperation.

"We are glad that our trade has again increased to 5 billion euros and that Austrian companies have already invested 7 billion euros in Russia. This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of gas supplies from Russia to Austria owing to cooperation between Gazprom and OMV. This cooperation was always sustained even in trying times.

"Today we signed a memorandum on cooperation in forestry and an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation so as to support our cooperation. Last but not the least, tourism from Russia to Austria is also developing on a large scale. We have recorded 2.1 million overnight stays in Austria.

"Observance of human rights is very important for us. Today, we had an opportunity to talk about international issues – how Russia as a superpower is playing a big role in Syria and eastern Ukraine and bears a large responsibility. And we hope Russia will help people finally experience what they have been looking forward to so much – peace.

"We spoke today about relations between Russia and Austria. As you know, Austria is an active EU member. On July 1, we will take over the Presidency of the EU Council and will actively participate in the formation of the EU position and EU decisions, including those on sanctions. At the same time we hope that owing to more intensive dialogue the EU and Russia will make progress in their relations.

"In addition, we hope that progress will also be achieved in eastern Ukraine and that the Minsk agreements will be implemented. This is the scenario we want for our continent. We are deeply convinced that solely through cooperation and joint actions we can make further progress in relations between the two sides.

"Mutual benefit is better than mutual loss. This is why we will continue working to maintain our traditionally good bilateral ties and support them more actively. We will continue working to sustain our good relations with Russia, the UN and the OSCE. We will be making our contribution to finding a decent solution for people that does not rely solely on military force.

"Please allow me to thank you again for your visit to Austria, and for the good conversation with the Federal President, the Vice Chancellor and me. I am already looking forward to the exchanges and conversations between representatives of our economies."

Putin: If Europe Wants The Flow Of Migrants To Europe From Syria And From Neighbouring Countries To Decrease, It Is Necessary To Help People To Return To Their Homes

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: "Mr Federal Chancellor, ladies and gentlemen,

"To begin with, I would like to thank the Austrian hosts for the warm welcome and hospitality. Mr Sebastian Kurz and I are already meeting for the second time this year. As in February in Moscow, our talks took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere and reaffirmed the partner-like, mutually beneficial character of Russia-Austria cooperation.

"This is shown by the substantial growth of trade between our countries – last year it went up by 40.5 percent and continues to grow. It doubled in the first quarter of this year. Our visit is timed to the 50th anniversary of the first contract on natural gas supplies from the Soviet Union. During this half century our country has been reliably supplying Austrian consumers with energy resources. Moreover, they are delivered to the markets of other European countries via Austrian territory. And so it is no exaggeration to say that Russia and Austria are jointly making a substantial contribution to the energy security of the whole of Europe.

"We are working together to expand energy cooperation. Today our leading energy companies – OMV and Gazprom – signed an agreement on gas supplies until 2040.

"The Nord Stream 2 project continues to be carried out. The Federal Chancellor confirmed that the Austrian leaders are positive about it as a strictly economic project.

"During the talks, we addressed issues related to increasing mutual investments in industrial and technological cooperation. Russian capital investments, as I already said after the meeting with the President, are nearing $24 billion, while the figure for Austria is approaching four billion.

"The Declaration on Partnership for Modernisation, adopted in 2011, is being implemented. As part of it, 28 joint initiatives totalling almost three billion euros are being implemented.

"I would like to highlight the major infrastructure project to build a wide-gauge railway line from Kosice in Slovakia to Vienna. It is still in the stage of expert study, but it is now clear that in case of its implementation, cargo transportation between Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway will increase significantly, while costs for end users will be reduced.

"Of course, we also exchanged views on a number of issues on the international and regional agenda. And we talked about developments in Ukraine. I informed the Federal Chancellor about how Russia sees further possibilities for settlement in Donbass. It is significant that both Russia and Austria are in favour of full and rigorous compliance by all parties to the conflict with the Minsk agreements.

"We discussed the Syrian crisis. We note the readiness of Austria to join humanitarian actions in support of the population of Syria. I have already said it many times, and I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate once again: if Europe wants the flow of migrants to Europe, including from this region – from Syria, from neighbouring countries – to decrease, it is necessary to help people to return to their homes, to help them to rebuild their lives in their own country.

"In conclusion, I would like to thank the Federal Chancellor for useful and informative talks. Our joint programme will be continued. There are two more important events to be held, also timed to the 50th anniversary of the first gas contract.

"We will meet with representatives of the business community, and then we will attend the opening of the exhibition, Old Masters from the Hermitage, at the Vienna Art History Museum.

"I would like to thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, for your attention to our work.

"Thank you very much."

(Kremlin.ru, June 5, 2018

Talks With President Of Austria Alexander Van Der Bellen - President Of Austria: Russia Is Part Of Europe And Not Some 'Foreign Element'

Below are excerpts of the joint press conference with Putin and Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen:Putin with President of Austria Alexander van der Bellen. (Source: Kremlin.ru)

President Of Austria: 'Good Relations With Russia Are Important For Me Not Only In The Context Of European Policy But Also For Personal Reasons'

Federal President of the Republic of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen: "Mr President,

"I am very happy to welcome you here in Vienna. I am especially pleased that President Putin made one of the first foreign trips after his election to Austria, to Vienna.

"This was my first meeting with you as the Federal President but many years ago I met with you in the Austrian Parliament. I think I can say that together we found a good foundation for dialogue.

"Good relations with Russia are important for me not only in the context of European policy but also for personal reasons. Russia played an important role in my family history – my parents spoke Russian with each other and I literally grew up on Russian literature although today this is no more than marginalia.

"Russia and Austria have traditionally maintained very good relations that have a centuries-long history. These relations are not only political but also embrace such areas as culture, science, research, and music. For instance, 2018 is the Year of Music. Several days ago Schoenbrunn Palace hosted a wonderful concert in which Anna Netrebko and other performers took part.

"One more important example of our cooperation is the joint commission on historical issues that is making a major contribution to facilitating understanding between our countries. And the importance of this commission should not be underrated. Usually or rather very often it is historians that influence the perception of different events by citizens of this or other country. For example, the French certainly write about Napoleon in a somewhat different way than Austrians or Russians.

"We are also striving to promote understanding on the ground floor, so to speak – by developing direct contacts between ordinary citizens of our countries. This is why we discussed today the formation of an additional platform for dialogue at the civil society level. The first event opening this dialogue will take place today in Sochi. Ms Kneissl is taking part in its preparation on our behalf.

"Of course, Russia is a very important market, including for Austria. Our direct investment in Russia is about seven billion euros, and Russian investment is 3–4 times larger.

"Yesterday we marked a special anniversary: 50 years since the agreement on gas supplies from Russia to Austria was signed. The agreement was signed in 1968, between the Soviet Union and Austria back then. This means that Gazprom and OMV have been working together for 50 years. I believe this cooperation over the course of several decades already is mutually beneficial.

"Soon, in less than a month, Austria will take over the Presidency of the EU Council. Unfortunately, I have to say that we live in a time when the tensions around the world are constantly growing. Austria has always tried to contribute to de-escalation, and we will continue to do so in the future.

"Unfortunately, the issue of sanctions is very acute today, and, concerning foreign policy, Austria acts in concert with the other countries of the European Union, and will continue to act in concert with them. But at the same time dialogue with Russia has always been extremely important, and not just for Austria, but for the entire European Union.

"I always get somewhat confused when I hear people say 'Russia and Europe,' because Russia (at least a large part of it) is, of course, part of Europe and not some 'foreign element.' We all know well that we can achieve peace in Europe only together with Russia, and a number of regional and global problems can only be resolved with Russia’s involvement.

"President Putin and I have discussed various foreign policy issues, such as developments in the 'triangle' between the U.S., Iran and Europe, if you will. I will not take much of your time: President Putin is a much more interesting figure for you than I am.

"I am pleased to welcome the entire high-level Russian delegation here in Vienna. Tonight we will perhaps meet once again at the Art History Museum where a very interesting exhibition, Old Masters from the Hermitage, featuring a number of exhibits provided by the Hermitage Museum, will open.

"This means that President Putin is not our only guest tonight: the Hermitage will be here for several weeks and months on behalf of the entire Russian nation.

"Thank you very much."

Putin: 'Russia’s Austrian Partners Have Supported Our Plans To Increase Gas Supply To European Consumers, Including As Part Of Nord Stream 2 And Other Energy And Infrastructure Projects'

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: "Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

"First of all, I want to thank President Van der Bellen for the invitation to visit Austria.

"The President expressed his determination to expand the entire scope of bilateral relations between Russia and Austria, which I fully support.

"We have very good preconditions for that. Russia-Austria relations are based on a tradition of partnership and mutual benefit. We maintain regular contacts at the top level as well as between the ministries, agencies and parliaments of the two countries, between our businesses, representatives of culture, science, education and youth.

"Our mutual trade is growing. Russia-Austria trade turnover grew by 40.5 percent in 2017. The growth rate reached almost 100 percent in the first quarter of this year.

"One of the key areas of our bilateral cooperation is energy. Our visit marks the 50th anniversary of the first contract to supply natural gas to Austria from the Soviet Union. Since then, we have exported over 200 billion cubic metres of natural gas to the Austrian market.

"Austria has become one of the major – perhaps, one of the most important – transit hubs for Russian gas in Western Europe and plays an important role in ensuring the energy security of the entire European continent.

"Overall, this anniversary symbolises the mutually beneficial and time-tested partnership which both our countries intend to continue strengthening.

"Russia’s Austrian partners have supported our plans to increase gas supply to European consumers, including as part of Nord Stream 2 and other energy and infrastructure projects. We will by all means continue to discuss this important topic with the Federal Chancellor of Austria.

"We discussed with Mr Van der Bellen cultural and humanitarian ties that have been rapidly developing in the past few years. We noted that holding cross events has become regular practice.

"The Russia-Austria Year of Tourism was a success in 2017. In 2018 the Year of Music and Cultural Routes is being held. Cross years of youth exchanges, literature and theatre are planned for 2019 and 2020. As the President just said, today we will open the exhibition Old Masters from the Hermitage in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna.

"The Federal President and I have agreed to facilitate the implementation of plans on creating a Russia-Austria public forum, the Sochi Dialogue.

"We are satisfied with the joint work of Russian and Austrian historians. As members of the relevant Russia-Austria commission, they are making a tangible contribution to the unbiased study of our past and to resisting attempts to revise some complicated periods of European history.

"I would like to express special gratitude to the government and people of Austria for the care they show for the burial sites of Soviet soldiers who liberated your country from Nazism.

"Naturally, during the talks we exchanged views on a number of international and regional issues and talked about the developments in Ukraine and Syria.

"In conclusion, I would like to thank Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen for a constructive and productive meeting that, I am sure, will facilitate progress in the full range of bilateral ties.

"We would be happy to see the President in Russia at any time at his convenience.

"Thank you very much."

Q&A – Putin: Russia Is The Second Largest Investor In Austria

Question: "A question for both presidents. It has been emphasised that Russia and Austria are long-time reliable partners, and large mutual investors. You just mentioned the numbers – many billions of dollars, and you talked about a number of projects. Taking into consideration the current international situation, do you think there is potential for further growth in our economic relations, and if so, which areas are most likely to see it?"

Alexander Van der Bellen: "There is still quite a bit of potential. Russia is an immense market with 140 million people. And the way oil and energy prices are progressing, this is also a good benchmark.

"In particular, I was impressed: after a setback, if I can put it this way, that trade and direct investment have again grown in the past two years. And the growth was noted in both countries, especially in direct investment."

Vladimir Putin: "Indeed, our relations are progressing very well, steadily. In fact, Russia is the second largest investor in Austria, I think, after the Federal Republic of Germany. Russia has invested almost $25 billion in the Austrian economy. Our Austrian partners have invested almost four billion. Over 500 Austrian companies have a presence in the Russian market.

"Mr President said that it is a large market with over 140 million people (146 million). But if we consider the Eurasian Economic Union, it has 170 million people, including Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. It is indeed a large, broad market, and a fast growing one at that. As I have said, our trade is growing at a very good rate.

"I am not talking about energy. This is obvious. Thanks to cooperation with the Soviet Union and then with Russia, Austria has become the common European energy hub, which continues to develop very dynamically. In this sense, the role of the Austrian Republic in Europe’s energy industry is significant, large, and it will only increase.

"But we are not limiting ourselves to these areas. We have good prospects in engineering, timber processing, transport and logistics in general. We have adopted a plan on modernising the economy. This includes several fields (up to 20), some of them have already been completed, others are in progress, as they say, and are being implemented.

"We have very good prospects. I am confident that they will be realised, and I would very much like to see our work provide an impetus to fulfilling these joint plans."

Q&A – Putin: 'Sanctions, Any Politically Motivated Restrictions, Protectionism – These Are All The Same Thing'

Question: "I have a question for Mr Putin.

"Mr President, in your conversation with President Alexander Van der Bellen, and the forthcoming conversation with Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, would you like them to create a good atmosphere for lifting the EU sanctions?"

Vladimir Putin: "Sanctions, any politically motivated restrictions, protectionism – these are all the same thing. They are all ways of resolving political issues and are ultimately not effective at achieving the desired effect. They are harmful for everyone involved –those that initiate them, and those against whom they are used.

"I can assure you that Russia has overcome the difficulties linked with these external restrictions. This was not easy for us a few years ago, because at that time we faced a considerable (double) reduction in the prices of our traditional exports. Nevertheless, we have not only preserved macroeconomic stability but also consolidated it.

"As you may know, we reduced inflation to a record low in the history of modern Russia – 2.5 percent. We have a minimal unemployment rate – it has already dropped below 5 percent. Our gold and currency reserves are growing.

"Our positive foreign trade balance is about $130 billion. Investment in basic capital is growing at the accelerated pace of 4.4 percent. We have reached economic growth – it is very modest so far, but stable.

"This is why I say that sanctions are bad both for those that initiate them and those they are against. This is why I think everyone is interested in cancelling them. We are, too.

"We realise full well that each EU country finds it difficult to talk about this on an individual basis. I will not talk about the reasons – you know them. But whatever is happening in this area does not prevent us from developing relations with the Republic of Austria. And we will do everything we can to continue developing them in the future and to carry out the plans I have talked about."

Q&A – Austrian President: There Is Little Sense To Replace Russian Gas With American LNG

Question: "My question is primarily for Mr Federal President of Austria concerning natural gas cooperation. Russia has been a reliable supplier of gas to Austria for 50 years. A new agreement is to be signed until 2040.

Meanwhile, Russia was often accused in the past years of using gas as a political weapon. I have the following question: has Austria experienced any external pressure in this area?"

Alexander Van der Bellen: "The fact is that not only Austria but the whole European Union has been importing gas from Russia and the former Soviet Union. Our experience has been very good.

"Recently there has been, let us say, a reproach from some U.S. politicians that EU dependence on Russia in this area is too great. Meanwhile, the fact that U.S. liquefied natural gas is two or three times more expensive than Russian gas is overlooked.

"Under such circumstances, there is little sense, from a purely economic view, to replace Russian gas with American LNG. And under such circumstances, I believe that future cooperation between Gazprom and OMV rests on a very solid foundation."

Q&A – Putin: 'Not Only Russia But Also Our European Friends Are Interested In Restoring Full-Scale Work'

Question: "I have a question to both presidents. There is a grave crisis between the EU and Russia, and there is an impression that Russia is facing the problem of trust. What are you going to do to overcome this? And what will Austria do to stop this problem, to get rid of it?"

Vladimir Putin: "You mentioned the problem of trust and said that Russia has it. I want to disappoint you: I do not think so. I do not think we have any problem with trust. It is a problem for those who want the situation in Russia to be like that.

"We are open and ready to cooperation, we had until recently a whole set of mechanisms and tools of cooperation with Europe you referred to and with united Europe. We used to have dialogue in 20 different areas in the economy, and all that has been practically wrapped up now, and through no fault of ours.

"We are not the initiators of curbing this interaction, and we are open and ready for joint work. Slowly, gradually this work is reviving, we can see that. We have consultations and dialogue with Brussels officials in a number of areas, and in my view they are proceeding very constructively, although not quite smoothly. But let me reiterate, not only Russia but also our European friends are interested in restoring full-scale work."

Alexander Van der Bellen: "I do not have anything to add to that. The issue of trust turns up in politics every now and again. Therefore, there is nothing unusual here; even my personality, in retrospect, may arouse a veracity issue.

"I do not see any specific problem regarding Russia but I think it is a matter of correct interpretation of statements or actions. It is quite normal, business as usual, as they say. This is normal working mode. I do not see any crisis of confidence."

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[1] Uk.reuters.com, June 3, 2018.

[2] Tass.com, March 29, 2018.