A few days before presidential elections in Russia, Austria sent a strong signal of support to Ukraine with a state visit by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen. According to Van der Bellen, Austrian investors are showing great interest in Ukraine. For example, Austrian investments in Ukrainian economy reached USD 1.3 billion in 2017.
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After his state visit to Vienna in February 2018, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has invited the Federal President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen for a return visit. On 13-15 March 2018, Van der Bellen made his first state visit to Ukraine. He was accompanied by his wife Doris Schmidauer and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl.
The political part of his visit included meetings with President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. The visit focused on a wide range of bilateral relations, relations with the EU, the situation in eastern Ukraine and the Minsk agreements. The parties also signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of culture and education.
Petro Poroshenko met the Austrian Federal President on 14 March 2018 at a working meeting. It was reported that Ukrainian exports to Austria rose by 48%. According to President Poroshenko, it is the result of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.
At the working meeting with the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, it was emphasized that in 2017, Austria invested USD 1,344.5 million in the economy of Ukraine, which represents 3.4% of total foreign direct investment in Ukraine. At the meeting, Volodymyr Groysman emphasized that European integration was an irreversible foreign policy goal of Ukraine, which is why, in view of the Austrian EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2018, Kyiv is keen to intensify its dialogue with Austria on many issues. According to Van der Bellen, Austrian investors show great interest in Ukraine, but the efforts to counter corruption must be stepped up.
At the end of his official three-day trip to Ukraine, Federal President of Austria visited Lviv. There, he went to see an exhibition in the Austrian Library and held discussions with students in the Catholic University.