US Ambassador Victoria Kennedy has praised Austria’s “resolute character” in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine. “As the U.S. representative to Austria, I welcome Austria’s firm stance in the European Union, standing up against unjustified aggression against Ukraine and standing firm on sanctions,” Kennedy said Tuesday evening at a reception hosted by the Austrian-American Society (ÖAG) in Vienna.
ÖAG President Philipp Bodzenta welcomed State Secretary Florian Tursky (ÖVP), SPÖ Vice President Jörg Leichtfried, former Economic Affairs Minister Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP). Coca-Cola manager Bodzenta emphasized that ÖAG is a “bridge-builder” and “multiplier of positive energies” between the US and Austria.
Kennedy described Austria and the United States as “like-minded nations” and particularly emphasized commercial contacts and exchange programs. Austria is currently the second fastest growing foreign investor in the US, a cooperation program between the armed forces and the US National Guard has just begun, and the US also wants to learn from the Austrian training system. Several US ministerial visits are planned in the coming months, Kennedy said, without elaborating.
“None of this would be possible without grassroots supporters,” Kennedy said, praising ÖAG’s efforts to deepen bilateral ties. At the same time, she warned against resting on one’s laurels. “I don’t take it for granted that Austria and the United States have such extensive relations today,” asserted a party friend of Democratic US President Joe Biden.
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