Vatnik Soup
Soup number126
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Vatnik’s professionPolitician
Vatnik’s country of originAustria
In other languagesKarin Kneissl (de)
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Karin Kneissl

In today’s #vatniksoup I’ll introduce an Austrian diplomat, journalist and politician Karin Kneissl. She’s best-known for serving as Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, blogging for RT, and being in the supervisory board of Russian integrated energy company, Rosneft.

In her youth Karin was active in Amnesty International and supported environmental efforts and human rights activism worldwide. She studied international relations in Jerusalem and in Amman, subsequently earning her PhD in international law in 1992.

Between 1990-1998 she worked as a diplomat in the cabinet of ÖVP. She left the diplomatic service after this & got more involved in politics.She’s said that she was involved in founding of the Austrian section of Médecins Sans Frontières, but the organization has denied this.
Kneissl’s politics could be described as euroskeptic and throughout the years she’s taken a strong anti-immigration stance. At the height of the refugee influx of 2015, Kneissl criticized the immigrants heavily, pointing out that most of them are economic migrants and are...
...not being persecuted in their own countries. This type of rhetoric was very common at that time, and it helped many right-wing parties and politicians into the spotlight. The same anti-immigrant bloc started flirting with Putin’s Russia, perhaps lured in by their wealth.

Her anti mass-immigration stance made her very popular among the right-wing populist party FPÖ, to whose events she was often invited. FPÖ even considered making her a presidential candidate, but they finally decided to go with Norbert Hofer instead.

Later she was nominated by FPÖ for the post of Foreign Minister of Austria in Sebastian Kurz’s government. In Aug, 2018, Kneissl got married with entrepreneur Wolfgang Meilinger.

One of the guests was Russian president Vladimir Putin, and a photo of her submissive gesture of curtsying in front of Putin became a target of major outrage and criticism. She left political office after a vote of no confidence in 2019.

The next year she started writing occasional op-eds for the Kremlin-controlled RT. Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group has described her as “an advocate for the political agenda of the Kremlin”.

She was among that big group of people who dismissed the US intel on Russia’s full-scale invasion of Feb, 2022, disregarding it as “war hysteria” that was blown up by the mainstream media. She has referred to male EU leaders as “teenagers” who are “constantly agitated”.

In Mar, 2021, Karin, after she reported about financial problems related to COVID-19, was finally offered her dream job: she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Russian state gas company Rosneft.

Now Kneissl was finally with people who shared a similar world view to hers - she joined the company of Swiss banker Hans-Joerg Rudloff, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and businessman Matthias Warnig.

The latter two were also involved in development and construction of the Nord Stream pipelines along with Finland’s ex-PM Paavo Lipponen. Their shared Rosneft-fairy tale lasted only until May, 2022, after which they all resigned from their posts.

Losing this important job with annual salary of around 500 000 USD must’ve been a big hit, but Kneissl wasn’t done with Russia just yet. In Sep, 2022, she was a guest at Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok where she was interviewed by RIA Novosti.

She informed that she had emigrated to Lebanon because of “death threats”, transforming neatly from a politician with strong anti-immigration views into an actual immigrant. In Dec, 2022, she posted a nice scenery photo from Moscow, which for some reason was harshly criticized.15/18
Karin’s continued her pro-Russian commentary since, often retweeting great Russian thinkers like @Trollstoy88 and @WarMonitors (don’t mix this Russophile with @WarMonitor3), in addition with CCP propaganda piece on Sy Hersh.

In Mar, 2023, she visited Norwegian Professor Glenn Diesen’s YouTube channel, where they discussed about “Death of Diplomacy”. Diesen is a fellow RT contributor and a fervent promoter of Russian propaganda. None of the guests had naturally even mentioned diplomacy prior to..17/18
... Sep, 2022, when Putin illegally annexed the four Ukrainian Oblasts (that they didn’t even fully control) into Russia.

Kneissl has clearly picked her side on this conflict, and her commentary on atrocities in Bucha, Izium and Kherson is non-existent - as is tradition.

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