Austrian chancellor first EU leader to meet Putin since invasion
Moscow, Apr 11 (EFE).- Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Monday face-to-face talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin were “direct, open and tough.”
Nehammer is the first Western leader to meet Putin since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.
The Austrian chancellor said he told Putin that “in a war there are only losers.”
He added: “I addressed the serious war crimes committed in Bucha and elsewhere, and stressed that those responsible must be held accountable.”
The pair met in Putin’s presidential residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, on the outskirts of Moscow, according to the Kremlin.
“This is not a friendly meeting,” Nehammer’s office said prior to the meeting.
Nehammer’s visit to Russia follows a trip to Ukraine in which he met with president Volodymr Zelenskyy on Saturday.
The Austrian leader recognized his trip to Moscow was a “risky mission” but a necessary one to help stop the war in Ukraine.
“Anything that can be done to help the people of Ukraine and stop the war should be done,” Nehammer told reporters in Vienna on his return from Kyiv on Sunday.
“It’s the order of the day for me to try everything,” he added.
Austria is not a member of Nato and has refused to send military aid to Ukraine due to its neutral status.
It has also joined Germany and Hungary in calling against an embargo on Russian gas imports to the EU, warning it could be harmful for the region. EFE