Russian President Vladimir Putin and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer completed talks that took place at the residence of the head of the Russian state in Novo-Ogaryovo, TASS reports citing presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov. This was Nehammer’s first visit to Moscow since taking office as Federal Chancellor in December 2021.
“Yes. The meeting is over,” Peskov said. At the same time, the Kremlin spokesman did not specify how long the conversation between the president and the chancellor lasted. Nehammer, in turn, said that his conversation with Putin was “tough and open.” He also insisted on the need to organize humanitarian corridors in Ukraine. However, the chancellor’s “most important” message was that what is happening in Ukraine “must finally end”, because in such events “there are only losers on both sides”, writes the Kleine Zeitung.
Peskov previously stated that the talks between the heads of state would be held behind closed doors and would be devoted to the situation in Ukraine. In addition, Putin and Nehammer could discuss issues related to bilateral relations, including in the energy sector. “The main topic will be the state of affairs around Ukraine, but, on the other hand, gas affairs – their discussion cannot be ruled out either, because this topic is very, very relevant for the Austrian side,” Peskov emphasized.
The Austrian side, represented by Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, stated that the chancellor wants to take every chance to resolve the humanitarian situation in Ukraine. “Therefore, the chancellor is coming with clear messages of a humanitarian and political nature,” Schallenberg added. The minister also clarified that the chancellor’s visit meant “a face-to-face conversation and without the media.”
On April 9, Nehammer visited Kyiv, where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. During a press conference, he said that the European Union will tighten sanctions against Russia until it stops its military operation in Ukraine, TASS wrote. After a visit to Ukraine, Nehammer was criticized. According to the newspaper Kronen Zeitung, citing the circle of the Austrian chancellor, he was accused of demonstrating support for Ukraine, he “endangered” the neutrality of Austria.