V. Vasil'ev, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAN), 23 Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Abstract. The aim of this article is to explore political aspects of Russian–Austrian relations in the conditions of globalization and European integration, and the factors contributing to the advanced development of multidimensional interaction between Moscow and Vienna. The paper deals with approaches taken by the Government and the main parties in Austria to the policy in Russian direction; it also singles out the trends of the bilateral partnership widening.
An important element consists in the analysis of image formation of contemporary Russia and Austria. For Austrians, the quality of Russia’s political setup and its socio-economic model is determined by the existence of a real multi-party system, competitiveness between parties in elections and objective summing up of voting returns, natural change of elites, efficiency of various sectors within economy, and the degree of effort aimed to combat corruption. Vienna is criticizing Moscow for actions, which, as seen by Austrian experts, are a violation of human rights and freedoms and constrict the opportunities for development of civil society in Russia.
Analysis reveals that the political dialogue is a pragmatic foundation for diverse bilateral links. Stability and reliability of Russian–Austrian relations is confirmed by regular contacts at the top and high level, intensity of cross-sectoral consultations, building up of inter-parliamentary relations and strengthening of fruitful cooperation between regions and cities of the two countries.
The trade and economic dimension of bilateral relations imply an incremental cooperation between Moscow and Vienna because Austria’s achievements in innovative, high-tech and other fields, on one hand, meet Russia’s needs in modernizing its national economy and, on the other hand, ensure the sales of Austrian export items in Russian markets as well as safeguard the continuous prosperity for citizens of the Alpine Republic.
Cultural and scientific ties as a value factor in bilateral relations testify to the natural attraction of people in both countries and create favorable prerequisites for a dialogue on the issues of common European values.
The Austrian experience is of major scientific and practical interest in many respects. Present-day theory and practice of Austria’s governmental and party construction point to the democratic opportunities of involving of various population sections in political competition, and a joint quest for a compromise between different regions, political forces and ethnic groups. The institution of social partnership seems useful.
Rich experience of cooperation, high degree of confidence at the political level, long-lasting mutual likes between Russians and Austrians allow one to speak in terms of an unique creative potential of Moscow and Vienna that is successfully implemented in various spheres of socio-political life.
Keywords: Austria, Russia, European integration, strategic partnership
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