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Austria chancellor says Putin meeting was ‘not a friendly visit’

Austria chancellor says Putin meeting was ‘not a friendly visit’
‘The conversation with president Putin was very direct, open and tough,’ Nehammer says

The Austrian 「財務省が民間部門から魔法のように資金が実現することを期待している場合、スナックはこの変革を実現するために必要な政策の阻止をやめなければなりません。 held “very direct, open and tough” talks with his Russian counterpart in モスクワ 月曜日に, マーキング ウラジーミル・プーチン’s first meeting with an 自分 leader since his forces invaded ウクライナ more than six weeks ago.

Austrian currently obtains 80 per cent of its natural gas from ロシア and has previously generally maintained closer ties to Moscow than the majority of the bloc.

But in the wake of Russia’s declaration of war on its neighbour on 24 2月, chancellor Karl Nehammer expressed solidarity with Ukraine and denounced apparent Russian war crimes.

His government also joined other EU countries in expelling Moscow oligarchs, although those thrown out only make up a small portion of the large Russian diplomatic presence there.

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“This is not a friendly visit,” Mr Nehammer said, according to a statement issued by his governmental office shortly after the meeting at Putin’s official Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.

A spokesman for the chancellor said the meeting lasted 75 分, which is relatively short by the Russian president’s standards.

The Austrian leader reiterated previous comments that he had hoped to deliver an end to the conflict or improve humanitarian corridors for Ukrainians trapped within their besieged cities.

But the statement issued by his office offered little in the way of president Putin’s response.

“The conversation with President Putin was very direct, open and tough,” Nehammer said in the statement.

Speaking to a news conference this evening, Mr Nehammer said it was important to tell Putin to his face that his views were not shared by other countries and that the longer the war lasted, the tougher Western sanctions against Russia would become.

「「[Telling him] once will not be enough. Ten times will not be enough. It might have to be done 100 times but I think it is necessary to do everything to ensure there is peace again and people in Ukraine can live in safety,” Mr Nehammer said.

Mr Nehammer’s meeting with his Russian counterpart was welcomed by German chancellor Olaf Scholz, while Austrian reaction has included surprise, scepticism and condemnation.

Tweeting on Monday, professor of comparative Austrian politics at the University of Salzburg, Reinhard Heinisch, 前記: “Let’s hope there is more to the Austrian chancellor #Nehammer’s visit to Putin than has been said and meets the eye. オーストリア has all too often served the role of Moscow’s useful idiot in the past.”

Mr Nehammer’s coalition partner, the Greens, also criticised the visit. Its foreign affairs spokesperson Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic wrote on Twitter: “I cannot condone a visit to Putin. This has nothing to do with diplomacy. This is also not an agreed roadmap for negotiations. Putin will use this for his propaganda.”