During an official visit to Austria, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President of the National Council (Parliament) of the Republic of Austria Wolfgang Sobotka.
The issues of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Austria were discussed at the meeting.
Wolfgang Sobotka stressed that there is a large Ukrainian diaspora in Austria and that official Vienna supports Ukraine on many international platforms. He noted that Austria wants to remain a reliable partner for Ukraine.
The President of Ukraine and the President of the Austrian Parliament discussed the armistice in Donbas. Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke in detail about the situation in the east and all the efforts Ukraine makes to achieve peace.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy mentioned the special role of the Austrian charity organization "Little Hearts", which takes care of orphans and disadvantaged children in Ukraine.
"You provide a lot of help to Ukrainian children. For their sake, we must do everything to end the war, so that there is no hatred in the lives of future generations," the President of Ukraine said.
Wolfgang Sobotka stressed that Austria supports resolving the issue of the war in eastern Ukraine in the Normandy format.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the President of the Austrian Parliament discussed in detail the issues of holding elections in the temporarily uncontrolled territories of Donbas. The President of Ukraine stressed the impossibility of holding these elections before the withdrawal of foreign troops and illegal armed groups, the return of Ukraine's control over these territories. In addition, elections must be fair and transparent, in accordance with international standards.
The Ukrainian Head of State hopes that Ukraine and Austria will resume bilateral cooperation to the level reached before the COVID-19 pandemic. Wolfgang Sobotka thanked the President of Ukraine for the efforts made in overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke about opportunities to invest in the tourism industry, banking and financial sectors of Ukraine.
"We have beautiful Carpathian mountains. But only one modern resort. And we could have dozens. There are mountains, but no infrastructure. We are ready to build as a state. And we invite you to join," the President of Ukraine said.
Separately, the President of Ukraine highlighted the investment in the river industry of Ukraine. In particular, he mentioned an important bill on water transport.
"Waterways have not worked in Ukraine since Soviet times. We are now ready to resume inland waterway transport. We have been drafting the law for many months and have already presented it to our parliament," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
The President of the Austrian Parliament reminded that his country has been working on infrastructure development for a long time. After the implementation of important infrastructure projects, Austria's role in the world has grown significantly.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Wolfgang Sobotka also discussed the situation in Belarus.
In addition, the parties raised the issue of coexistence of religious communities in Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy assured Wolfgang Sobotka that various religious denominations operate freely in our country.
"Our task is to unite Ukraine in all directions," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.