Putin is set to attend Austrian foreign minister’s vineyard WEDDING this week as the politician seeks to strengthen her country’s ties with Russia
- Karin Kneissl will wed businessman Wolfgang Meilinger on Saturday in Austria
- Kneissl was tapped by Austria’s Freedom Party to head the foreign ministry
- Putin will stop in to congratulate the pair on his way to Germany, Kremlin said
Russian President Vladimir Putin will be a guest at the wedding of Austria’s foreign minister, who was nominated to the role by a far-right party with reported links to Russia’s ruling United Russia.
Karin Kneissl, an independent who was tapped by Austria’s Freedom Party (FPOe) to head the foreign ministry, will on Saturday marry the businessman Wolfgang Meilinger.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Putin would attend the ceremony in Austria on his way to Berlin for talks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in comments carried by the Russian Interfax news agency.
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Kneissl, 53, invited Putin to the ceremony when the Russian president was visiting Vienna this year, presidential advisor Yuri Ushakov told the agency.
‘We will call in and congratulate them,’ the advisor said.
The wedding is set to take place at a vineyard in Meilinger’s home state of Styria, central Austria.
Austrian foreign ministry spokesman Thomas Schnoell told AFP he could not comment on Putin’s visit, adding the wedding was a ‘private event’.
Karin Kneissl (right) with Jeremy Hunt. The 53-year-old will wed businessman Wolfgang Meilinger in a vinyard setting on Saturday
The FPOe has ruled Austria since last December in a coalition government with the centre-right People’s Party.
The FPOe supports Russia’s claim of sovereignty over Crimea and advocates the easing of economic sanctions levied against Moscow over its role in the Ukrainian crisis.
Austria was one of the few EU nations not to expel Russian diplomats following the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain in March.
But during his visit to Vienna in June Putin downplayed reported links between the ruling United Russia party and the FPOe.
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