Russian President Vladimir Putin is heading to Austria, one of the European Union's more Russia-friendly members, on his first foreign trip since being sworn in for a fourth term.
Before meetings with Austrian leaders on Tuesday, Putin dismissed suggestions that Russia has any intention of dividing the 28-nation EU. In an interview with Austrian public broadcaster ORF, he said that Moscow wants the EU "to be united and flourish, because the EU is our most important trade and business partner."
Putin's sixth official visit to traditionally neutral Austria marks the 50th anniversary of the start of Soviet gas deliveries to Austria. Unlike many other EU countries, Austria didn't expel Russian diplomats over the poisoning in Britain earlier this year of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
This article was written by cool news network.