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Austria’s Chancellor met with Putin to ‘confront’ him with atrocities he saw in Ukraine



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“This isn’t a pleasant go to. I’ve simply come from Ukraine and have seen with my very own eyes the immeasurable struggling attributable to the Russian warfare of aggression,” Nehammer was quoted as saying in an announcement issued by his workplace after the assembly exterior Moscow.

“I made the choice to go to Moscow, to look in President Putin’s eyes and confront him with what I noticed,” the Chancellor mentioned in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson Wednesday.

When requested about Putin’s mindset through the assembly, Nehammer mentioned Putin was very powerful and clear in his messages.

“In his perspective he has to defend the Russian Federation, the Russians residing in japanese Ukraine,” he mentioned.

Nehammer mentioned Putin talked about the Istanbul peace talks, and the Austrian chancellor emphasised he sees a chance in these talks to finish the warfare.

The Chancellor mentioned he confronted Putin about warfare crime and instructed him “it is necessary to have worldwide justice, the United Nations there.”

Nehammer mentioned, “it isn’t simple for Putin to speak about warfare crimes.”

Requested whether or not Putin accepted there are warfare crimes deliver dedicated, Nehammer responded, “Effectively, you recognize, It is President Putin. On this place, he was not clear.”

A divisive go to

Nehammer is the primary European chief to satisfy Putin face-to-face since his invasion. His go to divided opinion amongst EU leaders, with some expressing skepticism about partaking with the Russian chief.

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The pair spoke for about 75 minutes at Putin’s Novo-Ogaryovo residence close to Moscow, Nehammer’s spokesperson mentioned on Monday, in talks the Austrian chief described as “very direct, open and difficult.”

Earlier than visiting Russia, Nehammer met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and visited the city of Bucha, the place bodies of unarmed civilians were found strewn across public streets after a month of Russian occupation.

”I addressed the intense warfare crimes in Bucha and different locations and emphasised that every one these chargeable for them have to be held accountable,” Nehammer mentioned, based on the assertion issued by his workplace. “I additionally instructed President Putin in no unsure phrases that sanctions towards Russia will stay in place and can proceed to be tightened so long as persons are dying in Ukraine.”

The Austrian chief mentioned Putin had blamed the Ukrainians for “being chargeable for the crimes in Bucha.” Video footage, nonetheless, exhibits Russian forces gunning down a civilian there.

Austria is militarily impartial however its authorities has joined its neighbors in condemning Putin’s invasion.

The Chancellor mentioned he raised the difficulty of evacuation corridors with Putin, after repeated situations wherein tried evacuations round Ukraine have been scuppered by Russian assaults. Ukrainian officers mentioned a Russian strike on Kramatorsk prepare station on Friday killed dozens of individuals, together with a number of youngsters.

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“I additionally made it clear to the Russian President that there’s an pressing want for humanitarian corridors to deliver consuming water and meals to the besieged cities and to deliver out ladies, youngsters and the wounded,” Nehammer mentioned in his assertion.

Nehammer cited “a way of duty to depart no stone unturned” as a motive for in search of the assembly with Putin, saying: “For me, there is no such thing as a different to in search of direct talks with Russia as nicely, regardless of all of the very nice variations.”

In response to the United Nations, at the very least 1,892 civilians have been killed and a pair of,558 injured for the reason that warfare in Ukraine began in February.

Nadine Schmidt, Nic Robertson and Rob Picheta contributed reporting.