Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2019

In Osteuropa 1-2/2019

Between curtsey and genuflection
Austria-Russia: an outline of their relationship

Georg Dox

Deutsche Fassung


For historical reasons, Austria has a special relationship with Russia. From 1945 to 1955, parts of eastern Austria and the capital Vienna belonged to the Soviet zone of occupation. Since the State Treaty of 1955, politicians of all stripes have emphasised the fact that Austria has strong ties to Moscow, and that it therefore acts as a bridge between East and West. The current ÖVP-FPÖ coalition government also stresses the good relationship with Russia. The head of the FPÖ, Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, even supports recognising Russian ownership of Crimea for “realpolitik” reasons. Additionally, Austria was not among the EU states who expelled Russian diplomats following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal by the GRU Russian secret service. Trade takes priority in relations between Vienna and Moscow, although the volume of trade between Austria and Russia is limited.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2019, pp. 67–78)