'Russia closer to Austria than other major world powers' - head of Austrian General Staff in Moscow

Austrian General Staff Lieutenant-General Othmar Commenda. © Leonhard Foeger
Austrian armed forces are ready to cooperate with Moscow as “Russia is much closer to Austria than other major world powers,” chief of the Austrian General Staff said in Moscow, according to TASS.

Vienna’s top military figure noted that one of the reasons for his visit to the Russian capital was to disobey others’ orders.

“I’m not going to carry out instructions and follow orders on who's worth talking to and who's not. That’s exactly the reason why I decided to pay you a visit,” Austrian General Staff Lieutenant-General Othmar Commenda said at a meeting with the chief of Russia's General Staff, First Deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov.

Commenda said that Vienna is well aware of the ongoing global changes and noted that Russia is much closer to Austria than any other major world power, Interfax reported.

“We only could deal those [global] problems cooperatively,” Commenda said, adding that Austria is ready to work together “within its capabilities” and “where there's a deal of sense in it.”

Commenda specifically mentioned that Austria has been unable to invite the Russian general for a visit because of the “developments in Europe” and that he i for that deficiency, expecting his Russian counterpart to take possibility and visit Vienna in the years to come.

Gerasimov proposed that he and his Austrian counterpart “exchange assessments of international terrorism threats as part of the migration crisis” and discuss the issues of bilateral military cooperation. He shared the results of the Russian Air Force's operation in Syria with Commenda.

Austrian President Heinz Fischer arrived on an official two-day visit to Moscow on Tuesday. He is also meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to discuss economic, financial and cultural issues.