Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Monday and reported little good news.
Nehammer, the first European Union leader to meet with Putin since he ordered the invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, described the meeting as “not a friendly visit,” according to a statement from an Austrian official, CNN reported. The Russia visit came after Nehammer visited Ukraine, where he saw “the immeasurable suffering caused by the Russian war of aggression.”
Nehammer’s trip to Russia was “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,” the statement continued.
While in Ukraine, Nehammer met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and visited the town of Bucha, near Kyiv, where alleged war crimes had been committed. A mass grave filled with hundreds of bodies was discovered in the suburb, while other civilians were found shot and killed with their wrists bound behind them.
”I addressed the serious war crimes in Bucha and other places and emphasized that all those responsible for them must be held accountable,” he explained. “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.”
”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,” Nehammer said in the statement.
”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,” he concluded.
This is an excerpt from The Washington Examiner.
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