War in Ukraine: After his meeting with Putin “the Austrian chancellor has no illusions”

we say it increasingly cut off from support, while he hardly receives his colleagues anymore and changes less and less with Emmanuel Macron. After a more discreet period, Vladimir Putin reappeared on the international diplomatic scene by hosting Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, the first European leader to be received by Vladimir Putin since the beginning of the intervention in Ukraine

“If you ask me now whether I am optimistic or pessimistic, I am quite pessimistic,” the Austrian chancellor told reporters after his meeting. “We should have no illusions. President Putin has entered into a war logic en masse and he is acting on it “in hopes of achieving “quick military success”, he added.

“There is little interest from the Russian side for a direct meeting” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the chancellor said. Vladimir Putin has nevertheless “reiterated his confidence” in the talks in Turkey. The last session took place on March 29 in Istanbul.

no handshake

In addition, Karl Nehammer defended his “one-on-one” meeting in Russia, emphasizing “the importance of face-to-face contact to confront the president with the realities of war and to directly convey the point of view of Europeans”.

In a statement, he previously described the more than an hour-long discussion with the Kremlin chief as “candid, open and difficult”. “I have said serious war crimes in Boutcha and affirming in other places that all those responsible should be brought to justice,” said the Austrian chancellor. Boutcha is a place near Kiev that has become a symbol of atrocities, where Karl Nehammer went this weekend, along with other Western officials. Moscow has any involvement firmly rejected

“I have made it clear to the Russian president that there is an urgent need to establish humanitarian corridors to transport water and food and to evacuate women, children and the wounded from besieged cities,” the chancellor stressed.

No image of the meeting was filtered that, according to the Austrian press, did not lead to a handshake. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, this closed-door format was chosen at the initiative of the Austrian side. In particular, Karl Nehammer says he “informed” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz about the content of the exchange. The conservative chancellor’s move was decided after talks in Kiev on Saturday with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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