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Wolfgang Schüssel About 13th Valdai Club Meeting: Frank Discussions Without Taboos

24.11.2016

According to Wolfgang Schüssel, Chancellor of Austria (2000-2007), the Valdai Club discussed in Sochi such important issues as migration, macroeconomic imbalances, foreign policy issues. Very impressive was Alexei Kudrin's vision on how to change the situation and evolve in the 21st century. There were very prominent personalities and very frank discussions with real impact without any taboos. Participants met with Sergey Lavrov, as well as with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Austrian president Heinz Fischer, president of Finland Tarja Halonen, South African president Thabo Mbeki.

As to Russia-EU relations, we are now in difficult situation and everybody should keep a cool head and focus not only on problems but also on the opportunities for the future. We should think about possible cooperation in trade and economy, investments, exchange of students and scientists, cultural cooperation, cooperation between civil societies. Russia could participate in the European research programs. The overall situation is not bad, we should not underestimate Russia's flexibility to overcome internal problems but Russia also should not underestimate the flexibility and ability of the European institutions to solve problems like debt issue, or Brexit, or migration crisis. Both sides are able to survive and come out from difficulties stronger than before.