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‘This Is Not a Friendly Visit’: Austrian Chancellor Had Tough Words For Putin During Tense Meeting In Moscow — Report

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Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer reportedly had tough words for Russian President Vladimir Putin during a tense face-to-face in Moscow on Monday.

As reported by CNN, Nehammer is the first European Union leader to have met with Putin since the invasion of Ukraine began on February 24.

In a statement, Nehammer said the conversation with the Russian leader was “very direct, open and tough.”

“This is not a friendly visit. I have just come from Ukraine and have seen with my own eyes the immeasurable suffering caused by the Russian war of aggression,” the Austrian chancellor said, adding that his most important message to Putin was that the war in Ukraine must end because “in a war there are only losers on both sides.”

He also reiterated that he had hoped to “help bring an end to the war or improve conditions for civilians.”

“I addressed the serious war crimes in Bucha and other places and emphasized that all those responsible for them must be held accountable. I also told President Putin in no uncertain terms that sanctions against Russia will remain in place and will continue to be tightened as long as people are dying in Ukraine,” the Austrian Chancellor said, according to CNN.

“I have just come from Ukraine and have seen with my own eyes the immeasurable suffering caused by the Russian war of aggression. The trip to Moscow and the talks with President Putin are a duty for me. A duty out of a sense of responsibility to leave no stone unturned to bring about a cessation of hostilities or at least humanitarian progress for the suffering civilian population in Ukraine. For me, there is no alternative to seeking direct talks with Russia as well, despite all the very great differences,” the Chancellor said.

He added: “The EU is more united than ever on this issue. I also made it clear to the Russian President that there is an urgent need for humanitarian corridors to bring drinking water and food to the besieged cities and to bring out women, children, and the wounded. I will now return to inform our European partners about my conversation with the Russian President and discuss further steps.”

Read more on CNN.