Visiting Moscow, Austrian Chancellor talks about “difficult” discussion with Putin

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer was received by Vladimir Putin on Monday, April 11. This is the first time for a European leader since the beginning of the intervention in Ukraine, according to a press release issued by his cabinet after the meeting.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said he was “quite pessimistic” after his meeting with Vladimir Putin, who wants to record “military success” in Ukraine. “We should not have illusions (…). President Putin has massively entered into a logic of war and is acting accordingly,” he told reporters at the end of his visit.

« The discussion with President Putin was frank, open and difficult.e,” he said Karl Newhammer after this interview that lasted just over an hour and did not lead to a handshake, according to the Austrian press. ” I spoke about the serious war crimes in Boutcha and elsewhere, saying that all those responsible must be brought to justice. the Austrian chancellor added.

Boutcha, a town near kyiv, has become a symbol of atrocities. Karl Nehammer visited this weekend as did other Western officials. Moscow has firmly rejected any involvement. ” I made clear to the Russian president the urgency of establishing humanitarian corridors to bring water and food and evacuate women, children and the wounded from the besieged cities. “, stressed the chancellor, insisting that it was not a question” not a friendly visit ».

The interview took place at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, near Moscow. No image of the meeting has been leaked and no joint press conference is planned. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, this format behind closed doors was chosen at the initiative of the Austrian side.

Visit after Ukraine

Karl Nehammer says that he now wants to meet with his European counterparts to inform them of this meeting and discuss the next steps, while the European Union (EU) is currently preparing new sanctions. The conservative Austrian chancellor went to Moscow on his own initiative after visiting Ukraine. The ” does not have a European mandate “, his foreign minister, Alexander Schallenberg, had specified early Monday.

Karl Nehammer was going to explain to Vladimir Putin that he ” isolate Russia, which is going to lose this war morally and is doing all the wrong things “, reported the head of diplomacy. ” Any voice that makes President Putin understand what reality is like outside the Kremlin walls is not a lost voice. “, he estimated, while acknowledging that ” no one expects a miracle ».

The chancellor’s move was decided after talks in kyiv on Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as the heads of the EU institutions Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michael.

(With AFP)

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