August 15, 2018 / 2:00 PM / a year ago

Russia's Putin to attend Austrian minister's wedding on Aug 18

Russia's President Vladimir Putin inspects warships on the Neva river during the Navy Day parade in St Petersburg, Russia, July 29, 2018. Sputnik/Mikhail Klementyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Austria on Aug. 18 to attend Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl’s wedding, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Putin is also due on Aug. 18 to travel to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks about Syria, Ukraine and energy at the government’s Meseberg palace outside Berlin.

Kneissl, 53, is a polyglot Middle East expert picked for the foreign minister post by the far-right Freedom Party (FPO) when it joined a coalition with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s conservatives last year. She is not a member of the FPO, which has close ties to Putin’s party.

The Krone tabloid said she is marrying entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger at a vineyard in Styria province. Broadcaster ORF said Kurz would also attend the ceremony.

The Austrian foreign ministry declined comment.

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk, Michael Shields and Francois Murphy; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and David Holmes

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