Stefanchuk to address Austrian parliament – despite resistance by pro-Russian force

Stefanchuk to address Austrian parliament – despite resistance by pro-Russian force

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk will pay a visit to Austria, where he will deliver a speech at the National Council.

This was reported by Ukrinform with reference to the Austrian Press Agency (APA).

"Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament Ruslan Stefanchuk will address the National Council on Tuesday," the statement said.

Earlier, Austria’s liberal party Neos took the initiative to invite President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky to address the lower house of the Austrian parliament via video link, which found no support from the right-wing populist and pro-Russian Austrian Freedom Party (FPO), while Social Democrats took a waiting-out stance. At the same time, the FPO later tried to block Stefanchuk’s address to the National Council as well.

Read also: Austria to support granting Ukraine EU candidate status if other applicants receive it

According to APA, Stefanchuk during his stay in Vienna will also meet with President Alexander Van der Bellen and Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

It is expected that the main topic of the meetings will be that of granting Ukraine the status of an EU membership candidate.

As Ukrinform reported, Federal Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer has previously suggested that the status of a candidate for EU membership should be granted to Ukraine, provided that it is also granted simultaneously to other applicants – the Western Balkan nations and Moldova.

Earlier, the Austrian prime minister said he did not consider Ukraine's rapid EU membership likely, calling for a "European preparatory space" as an intermediate stage between co-operation and full EU accession for countries such as Ukraine and Moldova.

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