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United Russia signs deal with Austria's right-wing Freedom Party

The main Kremlin party has signed a cooperation agreement with Austria's right-wing populist Freedom Party.

Sergei Zheleznyak, the deputy head of the United Russia party, which has 343 seats in the 450-seat lower house of the Russian parliament, said before signing the deal that a closer dialogue could help find solutions to problems such as security challenges and the migration crisis.

Mr Zheleznyak noted a high level of support for the Freedom Party's Norbert Hofer in Austria's presidential election, who was defeated by left-leaning Alexander Van der Bellen in a presidential vote earlier this month.

Another leading United Russia member, deputy parliamentary speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, said a "sincere dialogue is important ... in today's world of political correctness where everyone is concealing true thoughts and feelings".

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