Karin Kneissl is the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Austria and therefore of the current Council Presidency. Vladimir Putin is the most aggressive foreign-policy opponent of the EU. It is therefore completely unacceptable of Kneissl to invite Putin privately to a party. A despot is never private.
The EU placed sanctions against Putin’s aggression policy in the Ukraine, the Baltic States with their Russian minorities feel permanently threatened, in Syria he supports the mass murderer Assad, chiefly responsible for the mass exodus of Syrians.
Critics and journalists sit in Putin’s prisons, the manipulation of the US election by the Russian government is being investigated, as is an attack with the nerve toxin Novichok in the EU. The Brexit vote was influenced massively by Russian propaganda media, in many European member states Putin supports extreme right and anti-European parties with millions or entertains friendship acts with them. In Austria it is the FPÖ, which has sent Karin Kneissl into the foreign ministry.
Against this background not only would an invitation to Putin be unacceptable, even just toying with the idea and that there was no immediate dementi by the foreign ministry damages Austria massively.
The turquoise-blue government is perceived as the extended arm of the Russian government in the European Union and is compromising the good reputation of the country. In the Council Presidency that is not only an Austrian but a European problem. The Foreign Minister Kneissl is responsible for this and should, to divert this damage from Austria, step down immediately. If she does not do so willingly, the Federal Chancellor Kurz should suggest her dismissal to the Federal President today.