Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said Russia has a role in the European security architecture and rejected the idea to deny Schengen visas to all Russians, as he spoke at a conference at Sciences Po, or the Paris Institute of Political Studies, on Monday, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported.
“We must not overshoot the mark, for example by introducing a visa ban for 144 million Russians,” Schallenberg said, the newspaper reported.
“We also have to think about the day after, the week after, and the months after,” he went on to say. “The European security architecture will have to include Russia in one way or another in the future as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and as a nuclear power.”
The top Austrian diplomat also said the OSCE should be kept as a negotiating platform and criticized Warsaw’s refusal to invite Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to the group’s recent meeting in Poland.
As the minister traveled to Paris on a one-day visit, he also met with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna. The Kronen Zeitung reported that Schallenberg told her that “a stable European security architecture that ignores Russia is inconceivable.”.