Right-winger who'd say "no" to Kosovo defeated by "Russian"

Former Austrian Green Party leader Alexander van der Bellen, who won the presidential election, has "Russian origins" according to Sputnik.

Source: Tanjug, Sputnik
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

Namely, his father's Dutch ancestors moved to Russia in the late 17th century and lived, since the 18th century, in the Pskov Province, where his grandfather, who had the same name, held various administrative offices in the town and the province.

Bellen's father was born in Pskov, but after the October Revolution emigrated to Estonia and then to Austria in 1940, where the country's new president was born.

As for Bellen's attitude towards Russia, the 72-year-old politician has been quoted as saying that "international conflicts and climate change cannot be solved without Russia."

Bellen took 50.3 percent of Sunday's presidential runoff in Austria, while his rival from the Freedom Party (FPO) Norbert Hofer received 49.7 percent.

Hofer conceded defeat on Facebook and thanked his voters for their "excellent" support.

In an interview for Tanjug last week, Hofer said he was against admitting the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo to international institutions. Tanjug also spoke to Bellen, who said he would "work on supporting the region of the Western Balkans along the path toward the EU."

He also "noted that no country has so close economic and historical relations with the Western Balkans as Austria does," and that the Serbian community in Austria is "under-represented in political parties."


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