Mr President, I am often in Vienna And I know about the mood in your country, which is on one hand an important member of the EU, but at the same time, many countries in Europe quite concerned about the current situation with the EU-Russia relations Every time I am in Vienna, I hear how different people – politicians, intellectuals, businessmen who say that it is necessary to reconsider the relationship, particularly at this stage.
Do you think that the atmosphere is changing in Europe, against the background of the current crisis in relations with Russia? Maybe it is still too early, because people expect the result of the American elections if the situation improves in Syria But in general, the mood in Europe and Austria is that all rational people say that the relationship between Europe and Russia are very important and the improvement of relations in the interests of both sides, we must find ways to improve them Also, there are points of disagreement, but this one, and work on the improvement of relations – the other, and they need to combine And what are your expectations (of course, in the current environment is difficult to make predictions), a few months ago, many expected that the sanctions will be removed By the end of the year whether we now it does not seem very likely, you have to wait for the elections in European countries like France and Germany? Of course not.
France and Germany – the important members of the EU, but we can not wait for the next elections in Europe, so you can constantly waiting As you know, there are two important issues – the Ukraine and Syria In Ukraine, the progress is very slow, and you can not blame just one side, there are many factors In Syria a year ago, there were hopes that the situation will improve.
Now it is getting worse But if you look at the frequent meetings between leading US and Russian policy on Syria I hope that sooner or later will result in meetings, and if this result is achieved, and the situation in Ukraine is improving Europe and Russia are interested in the normalization and improvement of relations, because it is in the interests of both sides Last year your country turned out to be at the forefront of the acute crisis in Europe With the influx of migrants and refugees from the Middle East, since a lot has happened, and I think that the mood in Europe varies greatly Relatively the Middle East, and how to deal with the turbulent world that remains turbulent Are European politicians and public opinion to imagine what should be done in order to prepare for crises like the crisis of migrants in the future? I have two answers.
First, I ask you to understand that Russia is a big and strong country with strong leadership United States – big and strong country with strong leadership.
EU – is something else, it is the union of 28, soon – 27 Member States And decision-making in the EU more difficult.
We have the president of the EU with the effect that is comparable to Obama or Putin We have a group of like-minded countries that are represented in the EU Parliament and the Commission, but also with strong governments in some Member States I therefore fervently support the idea of a united and cooperating Europe, but I know that the "United States of Europe" – not the United States of America And if it is taken into account, it is possible to understand some of the circumstances of why some changes are slower than in the combined nation-state Secondly, the refugee crisis has hit Europe, which was to this more or less is not ready We did not expect the arrival of so many refugees, for Austria it meant that more than 800 000 people Transitions Austrian border.
Our population – 8 million, is 10 percent of our population.
On the one hand it was a lot of positive energy, on the other hand, was skeptical, even fear Now, the number of refugees decreased, and I hope that Austria and the EU are more willing to take on the problem of refugees, than a year ago I know how difficult is arranged EU, but do you think that in today's world, with unpredictable and enormous challenges from all sides, whether it is a viable model? Yes, and there are no alternatives, because to say that we do not need the EU – is nonsense, and try to link and drag down the impact States will create more reactions against the EU centralization.
So we need to live with this model, it is a good model of the future, but it is more slow more complex, pluralistic, but it is better this Europe than Europe with individual states without cohesion and common policies Last question.
I am often in Austria, and my favorite institution in your country, quite unique – the Ministry of Defence and Sports For me, an absolute fantastic that such a peaceful and confident in the future of the country puts the sport – a very peaceful occupation – in the one institution with the defense This is what I would like to have in Russia.
Alas, I do not think it will happen soon.
But quite obvious that in today's world, the military factor, armed force and power conflicts – back Alas, it is all an illusion of the 1990s and early 2000s that the global policy will be to live without these tools, they are gone.
Can you imagine Europe or Austria, which will return to a situation in which each country will need to strengthen the military component And to give more importance to the defense than sport First, the army plays a major role in the sport, and sport plays an important role in the army, so that it is not illogical And last minister was also responsible for defense and sport.
You ask if I can imagine it.
I do not want it to represent, I hope that this will not be our responsibility – to exclude such a development I can imagine a lot of things, but all of my energy and the energy of reasonable and responsible politicians should focus In order to avoid such a situation and the remilitarization of renationalisation.
We often debate whether a story has something to teach And there are two groups – those who say – look at history, people do not learn, history teaches, but no pupils The second position – no, we can learn from history, and it teaches us – and I believe that the development of Austria – since the Second World War It would have been impossible without the lessons of Austria before.
For me, this is a good example of what history teaches us If I'm right, and it is, my answer is – no, I do not want to provide it, and I hope I'm in the right Then I hope that many other countries, the defense ministers will be Ministers of Defence and Sports.
Maybe Austria will go one step further And rename it to the Ministry of Defence and Sports, the priority was to.
It is not in alphabetical order! – Thank you so much – Thank you too.