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Russia ‘ready to co-operate with Austria on preventing terrorism’ after Vienna attack leaves 5 dead & many more injured – Kremlin

Russia ‘ready to co-operate with Austria on preventing terrorism’ after Vienna attack leaves 5 dead & many more injured – Kremlin
Vladimir Putin has offered his official condolences and vowed to work more closely with Austria in the fight against terrorism, after an attack in Vienna on Monday left at least five people dead and seven more critically injured.

The Russian president made the pledge in a telegram sent to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President Alexander Van der Bellen on Tuesday morning, describing the incident as a “cruel and cynical crime, which once again confirms the inhuman nature of terrorism.”

Putin confirmed “Russia's readiness to increase interaction with Austria and other members of the international community in the fight against all forms and manifestations of terrorism.” In September this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced intentions to increase security and intelligence ties after negotiations with Austrian counterparts. Austria is one of the few EU countries which is not also a member of the US-led NATO military bloc.

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The Russian embassy in Vienna has opened a hotline for its citizens living in the country, directing those in need of support to consular services. The approximately 5,500-strong Russian community is primarily based in and around the major cities of Vienna and Salzburg.

Locals have been asked to remain indoors as a city-wide manhunt continues for suspects, after several people were arrested and one shot by police overnight. The incident, which left more than a dozen victims with knife and gun wounds, took place outside the city’s main synagogue.

The Islamic Religious Authority of Austria, which represents more than 45,000 Muslims in the country, has condemned the attack, which left it “deeply affected and stunned.”

It comes after a series of terrorist incidents in France, including a knife attack at a church in Nice last week that left three dead. Last month, French President Emmanuel Macron laid out a plan to combat what he described as “Muslim separatism” in Europe.

Tensions between France and the Muslim world have grown after the beheading of a schoolteacher in Paris, allegedly in retribution for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed to his class. Russia is no stranger to dealing with Islamic terrorism, with such high-profile incidents as the Beslan school siege and the 2011 suicide bombing of Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport.

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